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Infiniti Confirms Plans to Exit European Market

Nissan Motor Co.’s upscale Infiniti units will discontinue sales in western Europe early next year.
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Nissan Motor Co.’s upscale Infiniti units will discontinue sales in western Europe early next year.

The move, which was first reported last month, is part of a broader global restructuring for Infiniti. The luxury marque intends to focus on North America and China, while continuing efforts to build its presence elsewhere in Asia, eastern Europe and the Middle East. North America currently accounts for 70% of the brand’s sales.

In Europe, Nissan’s Sunderland, England, plant will end production of the Infiniti Q30 and QX30 small crossovers in July. The slow-selling vehicles are sold globally but produced only in Sunderland.

Infiniti cites the high cost of meeting new emissions standards, plunging sales of diesel-powered vehicles and the impact of Brexit as reasons for the decision. The carmaker entered the European market in 2008, with annual deliveries peaking there in 2015 at just under 14,000 units.

Nissan says the decision will affect 250 of the 7,000 manufacturing jobs in Sunderland. The carmaker aims to transfer the workers to other positions in Europe.

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