Infiniti kicks Western Europe to the curb amid restructuring

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Infiniti kicks Western Europe to the curb amid restructuring

Workers at Britain's biggest auto plant received more bad news today when Nissan's luxury Infiniti division announced that it will halt production in Sunderland within months.

Infiniti is pulling out of Western Europe after Nissan's premium arm was no longer considered a viable business here.

A statement released on Tuesday confirmed the luxury auto maker will terminate United Kingdom production of vehicles at the Sunderland plant, putting around 250 jobs at risk.

Infiniti plans to divert its resources to markets with bigger opportunities from a region where non-European premium brands are struggling to compete against local players such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

According to Car Sales Base, the brand sold just 6250 vehicles across Europe previous year, down from 12,571 in 2017.

Infiniti will continue with plans to electrify its lineup.

Infiniti promises that it will assist impacted workers in finding employment and negotiate end-of-franchise agreements with its retail outlets. The brand has said new vehicles introduced after 2021 will be electrified, meaning they will be offered as a hybrid or pure battery electric vehicle-that has not changed.

A Government spokesperson told This is Money: 'As Infiniti has said, this is a global commercial decision to withdraw from Western Europe to focus on Infiniti's growth market in North America and China. Infiniti says it's working to find "alternative opportunities for any employees who would be affected".

"This is all part of Infiniti's vision to become a top challenger brand in the premium segment", it said.

Infiniti has 51 employees in its western Europe operations. Like all other vehicle makers Infiniti will have to invest heavily in electrification in order to reduce its fleet emissions, which are mandated at an average of 95g/km of Carbon dioxide in Europe from next year.

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