What does Infiniti leaving Europe mean for Australia?

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Instead, the company will focus on producing more SUV models for China and North America. Both vehicles are sold globally but produced only in Sunderland.

Just 750 Infiniti cars were bought by Britons a year ago.

By way of comparison, Lexus managed 47,170 sales across Europe in 2018, which trailed Alfa Romeo (83,438), Jaguar (84,311), Land Rover (150,283), and Volvo (319,048) by a significant margin. For a brief period, in 2016 and 2017, the numbers of vehicle sold by the brand in Europe managed to surpass 12,000 units, only to decline to about half that in 2018.

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

It said Infiniti cars would be electrified from 2021, while high-polluting diesel-powered models will be discontinued in response to strong consumer and regulatory demand for cleaner transport. The brand will put more focus on SUV and crossover products, and will prioritise the markets of North America and China, where it will launch no less than five new models over the next five years.

McLennan explained: 'The decision taken to withdraw Infiniti operations from Western Europe was extremely hard to take and only after careful consideration of all possible scenarios.

"In anticipation of its planned withdrawal from Western Europe in early 2020, the company is working to find alternative opportunities for any employees who would be affected", Infiniti said in a statement.

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

The departure from Europe is only partial, as it will affect the carmaker's operations in the Western part of the continent.

The company's plant in Sunderland in the United Kingdom, meanwhile, will close its doors in mid-2019. It will still have a presence in terms of service, maintenance and warranty repairs, although it's unclear if they'll be Infiniti-branded centers or something else.

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