Infiniti Quits Europe

Facing dismal sales and an uncertain Brexit outcome, Infiniti has announced it’s pulling out of western Europe altogether.

It’s not very surprising for Nissan’s luxury brand—one that’s struggled to find its footing and identity for years now—to move out of Europe, as the brand’s sales in that market slipped down to just 5,800 vehicles, or almost half of what it sold the year before, according to Reuters.

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Here’s more from Reuters:

Infiniti said it will discontinue the Q30 sedan and the QX30 sport-utility vehicle (SUV) and cease their production by the middle of 2019 at Nissan’s manufacturing factory in Sunderland. Both models are sold globally but produced only in Britain.

The move comes as Infiniti seeks to divert its resources to markets with bigger opportunities, such as China and the United States, from a region where non-European premium brands are struggling to compete against local players such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Nissan also recently scrapped plans to build its new X-Trail SUV in Britain amid the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, saying it had taken the decision to optimize its investments by building the next generation model in Japan.

Infiniti also cited Brexit when it reversed plans to build a new X-Trail SUV in Britain earlier this year, Reuters reports, and a company representative also pointed out the brand’s difficultly keeping up with the region’s regulatory requirements.

Instead, Infiniti will now focus on SUVs, and electrifying its model lineup, targeting the U.S. and Chinese markets. The company also plans to discontinue its diesel models by 2021, Reuters reports, and will work to find new opportunities for its 51 displaced western Europe employees.

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Earlier this decade, Nissan seriously considered pulling the plug on Infiniti after nearly 20 years of struggling to poach sales from the European luxury brands and find itself an identity, but it hung in there.

Now the brand seems to be completely reliant on finding that identity in electric models going forward. If it can’t do that, then it’s probably not long for this world.

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