Infiniti Loses Buzz In Europe As Nissan Pulls Premier Brand

Tue 12th Mar 2019

Workers at Nissan’s Sunderland plant are facing the prospect of redundancy once again after the company announced that Infiniti cars will no longer be sold in Western Europe.

The decision has been taken following poor sales of the premium car brand, with just 750 models sold in the UK in the whole of 2018.

The Sunderland plant currently sees approximately 250 workers produce the Q30 and XQ30 models, but an Infiniti statement said production of these models would end in July of this year, saying the company was “'working to find alternative opportunities for any employees who would be affected, consulting with employee representatives where necessary and identifying opportunities for transition and training support where appropriate”.  

It added: “As a result of this restructuring plan, production of the Q30 and QX30 is to cease by mid-2019 at the manufacturing location in Sunderland, UK.
“Plant management will discuss any impact on the plant with employees and their representatives.”
Though poor sales are said to be at the heart of the decision, the company has also been reluctant to invest in further research and development to meet stricter EU legislation around CO2 emissions. The company will now focus on North America and China sales for the Infiniti, with limited scope in Eastern Europe.

Nissan have struggled to market the Infiniti as a premium brand in a competitive European market already saturated with German  big-hitters. In the 11 years since launch the company has only sold 60,000 across Europe, it’s thought that 10,000 of these were in the UK.