Nissan cuts two models from Sunderland plant


Infiniti will withdraw its manufacturing and sales operations from the United Kingdom in 2020 as it targets electrification and growth in Western Europe, China and the US. Just 170 of the pair were sold in Australia past year, with the marque notching up just 649 sales in total.

"Western Europe remains the most challenging and competitive region for premium cars", Infiniti's chief spokesman, Trevor Hale, told Reuters.

The company says the plant management "will discuss any impact on the plant with employees and their representatives".

Around 250 employees at the Sunderland auto factory are dedicated to Infiniti production.

Infiniti UK confirmed it will honour any outstanding vehicles warranties, while customers with a vehicle on order will be contacted in due course.

The news puts 250 jobs at risk in Sunderland.

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It is unknown if the report of reduced operating hours is linked to the Infiniti decision.

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

Infiniti showrooms will close within 12 months and production of the Q30 and QX30 at Nissan's Sunderland plant will cease in the summer.

The Nissan-owned automaker said it's working to find other jobs for employees that might be affected, and once that's done, it'll focus on ending franchise agreements.

"So Infiniti is restructuring the brand to focus on its largest growth markets, specifically North America, China and Asia - of which Australia is a part of - while withdrawing from Western Europe". Unite is confident however that workers on the Infiniti Q30 production line who want to stay with Nissan can be redeployed within the Sunderland plant onto other models.

Sunderland is now the only Nissan plant building Infiniti's Q3 and QX30 models.