Currently reading: Infiniti pulls out of Europe
Luxury brand no longer considered viable, UK production to end in July

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

Production of the firm’s two UK-built models, the Q30 and QX30, will end at Nissan’s Sunderland plant in July. The company will cease all European operations from early 2020.

The move is part of a wider global restructuring plan for Infiniti. It will shift its focus to North America and China, and continue its smaller operations in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Infiniti launched in Europe and the UK in 2008, but it has never taken off here. The company has just 60,000 customers in Europe, 10,000 of which are in the UK.

The company cites no sustainable way of investing in the kind of technology needed to reduce its fleet emissions in Europe as the chief reason for the move. Like all other car 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 CO2 in Europe from next year.

With the vast R&D sums needed to be invested in electrified technology, and a lack of buyers to help fund the development, the decision has been taken not to invest in the brand in Europe to meet the stricter European targets.

A spokesman said that the targets could be met by Infiniti, like any other car maker, with investment in electrified technology, but there was no viable way of the company to do so.

The early axing of the Q30 and QX30 from Sunderland, which were never big sellers but have been hit further by the drop in demand from diesel, would leave Infiniti with only the Q50 saloon as the sole model in its range.

Instead, the company will focus on producing more SUV models for China and North America.

Some 250 people work on production of Infiniti models in Sunderland, out of a total of around 7000. Nissan is hoping to redeploy Infiniti staff as much as possible across Europe.

Its dealers will stay open until early next year to work through a transition, and during this period Infiniti will work on a plan to ensure that customers are still looked after in the future for servicing, warranty, aftersales and recall work.


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Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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androo 13 March 2019

Acura made the right decision

Honda's equivalent Acura luxury brand never made it over here. I suspect now they'll be glad they didn't bother, because the same would have happened to them. I imagine even Lexus is pretty tenuous in Europe. New brands have to go to a much higher level to be successful in new markets. Like Tesla. More of the same won't cut it. And that may be a problem when Chinese brands really try to break into Europe. 

Greebo12 13 March 2019

Infinity and beyond 2020

Come on, this comes as no suprise  Nissan not in a good place they trying to get away from Renault and it contol by blaming the french boss. Now infinity is going because well they never tried to make it work in europe. They not got the money or tech or plat form

Hello do they not have all those renault samsung and Mitsubishi platforms to draw on or is it that the european market is dead and they do not think its worth staying in europe. I think the latter. Its not Brexit either. Any company that blames brexit for it poor performance or difficulties are liars. 

Europe is a dead market. With high prices low wages and so much regulation and a green movement with an anti personal transport agenda and to much power the car industry is being crippled. The lies about diesels and No2 and Nox (last week eu scientists revealed that diesel where and are the cleanest forms of fossil fuels with diesel engines not produce any Nox or No2 that would make any impact on hunan health. Do see the green shout more diesel please.) Our manufactures have been forced to look at Ev 10 year earlier than planned. (Most eu nation cannot cope with EV electric demand)

So to seen another brand walk away is no suprise way should they invest in europe when the USA  India Asia and china are much easier markets and more profitable.

China is way ahead in EV tech but the eu is blocking its investment MG motors under SAIC have got some great hybrid and ev vehicle at reasonable price until the eu get involved with it tariffs and taxes.

MG left the UK because the EU regulations made it impossible to compete.

Motoring press are also to blame because they will no longer back budget cars and yet they do not attack the euro brands when the cheapen vehicle interiors but still charge a fortune ( this practise of putting different low rent door trims on there rear doors of cars)

It time to get back to what a car is and it not an extention of your mobile or you tablet computer. 

Cars do not need 12 inch tablet type touch screens to be goos cars

They need good seats goos climate control  good radio/ music and good safety equipent beyond that they need little else. In the average family car.

Massaging seats , self driving auto breaking. They are only need because of all the distraction placed into the car. Its time driver became more responsible and kid where told to shut up and be quiet. 

Mums and do not neec a gallon of coffee on the move or a fried food fest in the front seats. Its time we got back to basics.

And that where many good cars from china india and that region come in 

MG brand offers some great cars well built well trimmed for very reasonable price. They are easily as good as the japanese and Korean rivals.

People need good inexpensive modern cars. Today cars from the major western brands and far eastern brands are way to expensive and as be camnot drive fast or very far we do not need these track inspired race handling. We need cars to dealth with crumbling roads pot holes deep muddy puddles and poorly maintained roads.

We need wheel with good big sidewalls to take care of those pot holes not skinny rubbers on fancy light weight alloys . I seen thicker condoms than some of the tyres offered today. 

The loss of an over priced brand is no bad thing i remember cheap cheerful car like the old skodas believe me better inside one of them than waiting for a bus in the rain . Oh and the rust and reliability made up by the motoring press. 12 March 2019

Infiniti Fails in Europe

Poor brand strategy mixed with dull design and you have a recipe for failure. You certainly don't become a premium brand by just calling yourself 'premium'.The only comfort for Infiniti is that the same could be said for a lot of other carmakers these days. The market is saturated with bland, undifferentiated car designs.

Boris9119 12 March 2019

Not Doing Well in USA

Its a bit of a 'Meh' offering in the USA also. The success of Toyota's Lexus brand, which creamed both Cadillac and Mercedes Benz, promted both Honda and Nissan to try and emulate them. Only Toyota succeeded fully. As others have said, poor design, so-so drivetrains, and questionable 'luxury' = few sales. Few will cry over their retreat from Europe.