Infiniti to withdraw from Europe next year

Infiniti's European division is waving the white flag.

Infiniti announced on Tuesday that it is pulling out of the Western European market. Infiniti will begin to wind down its operations later this year.

Infiniti launched in Europe in 2008 and has struggled to find a foothold ever since. Infiniti's best-ever year in Europe was in 2015 when it sold nearly 14,000 vehicles. Last year the company delivered just 6,000 units in the region.

Infiniti says the decision to leave Europe will allow the company to focus on growth opportunities in North America and China. The company's operations in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia will not be impacted by the restructuring plan.

Infiniti will cease production at its Sunderland, UK plant -- which builds the Q30 hatchback and QX30 crossover -- by mid-2019. Infiniti will withdraw from Europe in early 2020.

At least in the short-term, Infiniti's European retail network will remain operational for vehicle servicing, maintenance and warranty repairs. Infiniti will work with its dealer network to develop a long-term solution.

So far this year Infiniti's sales are down nearly 11 percent to 20,909 units in the United States.

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