“Restructuring” to prioritise more profitable markets, like North America & China.
Infiniti, the luxury offshoot marque of Japanese giant Nissan, have announced today that they will be ceasing sales & service operations in more than a dozen Western European markets amid challenging sales, tightening regulations, and generally-lukewarm reception to their cars. In addition to cutting their losses, this will also free up more finances for Infiniti to develop new models for larger markets, as well as to focus on their continued drive to electrify their portfolio by 2021.
“Western Europe remains the most challenging and competitive region for premium cars. The commercial reality for Infiniti in western Europe is that there is simply no visibility of a viable and sustainable business, especially given the regulatory challenges.” – Trevor Hale, General Manager (Global Communications), Infiniti Motor Company
A “tailored transition plan” is being worked out for its dealerships & service providers presently to ensure continued aftersales support after the company ceases official business in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, and the UK.
In addition to this, they’ll also be ceasing production of the Mercedes-based Q30 & QX30 compact models by the middle of this year to focus more on products that’ll cater better to the North American & Chinese markets. In the meantime, Infiniti is working diligently to identify opportunities and openings for affected Western European employees who may be affected by Infiniti’s withdrawal from the region, consulting its employee representatives where necessary and providing training & transition support where appropriate.
We asked Infiniti’s local office to comment on the developments there and whether they’d affect our market, to which they had this to say:
“Within the Western European context of falling sales & the prospect of increasing investment costs towards future legislation and product complexity, there is no longer a sustainable and viable business case [there]. So Infiniti is restructuring the brand to focus on its largest growth markets, specifically North America, China, and Asia – of which Australia a part of – while withdrawing from Western Europe.” – Tony Mee, Corporate Communications Manager, Infiniti Cars Australia
While Infiniti has not always been the strongest performer in the premium segment against more mainstream rivals, those in search of more left-field alternatives have always found worthy & considered options within their product portfolio. And with the brand on the offensive with new models slated to be introduced in the coming years, we have to admit to sighing in relief that Infiniti Australia is here to stay.