Premium automotive brand Infiniti has announced a global restructure of its operations including a plan to leave Europe by mid-2020, while also confirming it will axe the Q30 and QX30 mid-2019.
The company says its new plan “will focus the brand on its largest growth markets, specifically North America and China, while withdrawing from Western Europe”.
To this point, the company hasn’t stated what it will do country by country, but has stated that the “restructuring plan will have no impact on Infiniti’s ongoing operations in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asia, which continue to grow”.
Growth is the case in Australia, though the local sales numbers are miniscule. To the end of February 2019, Infiniti had sold 69 vehicles - which is 13.1 per cent more than the same time last year, but still a tiny figure. In 2018, Infiniti sold a total of 649 units, which was down 16.4 per cent on the preceding year.
To give that some context, Mercedes-Benz sold 838 units of its C-Class sedan and wagon in February 2019 alone.
An Infiniti Australia spokesperson told CarsGuide: "Within the Western European context of falling sales and the prospect of increasing investment costs towards future legislation and product complexity, there is no longer a sustainable and viable business case for this region. 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."
Further: "This news is related to Western Europe and does not change the business operation in any other part of the world."
CarsGuide has contacted Infiniti's global communications team for further comment.
The news of the global restructuring comes at the same time Infiniti announced its plans to shut down its UK manufacturing operations, thus signalling the end for the brand’s two smallest models - the Q30 hatch and QX30 crossover.
The demise of the Mercedes A-Class-based models will certainly have an impact on the brand’s local aspirations, as it sold 170 units of the Q30/QX30 in Australia in 2018 - in other words, those models made up 26 per cent of its meagre sales tally.
More to come.
If Infiniti leaves Australia, will it be missed? Tell us in the comments below.