The restructuring plan will end all Infiniti auto sales in western Europe, although Nissan's premium brand will continue in some eastern European countries, along with China and the USA. The company said that it will end the distribution of the Q30 and QX30 models and terminate their operations of its plant in Sunderland, England by the middle of 2019.
Nissan has also earlier announced the cancellation of plans to build the next-generation Nissan X-Trail at the British facility. That reversed a decision announced two years ago after Prime Minister Theresa May's government offered some 60 million pounds in incentives.
The move is part of Nissan 's decision to pull the luxury brand out of Europe in early 2020. Nissan's Sunderland plant employs more than 7,000 people, and 250 of them are focused on the Infiniti models, a spokesman said. Infiniti's sales in western Europe nearly halved a year ago to 5,800 vehicles.
Coincidently, the company's Western European production is sourced from Sunderland, the United Kingdom, leaving some to speculate Brexit had a hand in the decision, especially in light of Nissan already announcing it is moving production of the X-Trail to Japan.
Infiniti Leaving Western Europe In 2020, Ending Q30, QX30 UK Production This Summer
A statement from Infiniti said: "Plant management will discuss any impact on the plant with employees and their representatives".
Sunderland made about 12,000 Infinitis past year, a sliver of its more than 442,000 total units produced.
As part of the plan, INFINITI will electrify its portfolio from 2021 onward, discontinue diesel offerings and focus its resources on its biggest opportunities. In the middle East and Asia as well, it will be business as usual for INFINITI.
'In the coming weeks Unite will be working closely with Nissan to protect jobs and ensure that redeployment is carried out in an open and transparent way. The company said it hopes to find alternative opportunities for these workers.
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