Nissan will cease production of its luxury Infiniti brand at its Sunderland factory by the summer, potentially putting jobs at risk.
The Japanese car maker said the move was part of plans to withdraw from the premium car market in western Europe, where the Infiniti brand faces stiff competition from local rivals including Jaguar Land Rover, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The company did not mention Brexit.
Nissan employs about 200 workers on Infiniti production in Sunderland. It is thought likely they will be redeployed.
However, the plan is the latest blow to the workers at the Sunderland plant, the UK’s largest car factory, after Nissan previously announced plans to build its new X-Trail in Japan.
In a statement, Infiniti said its restructuring plan “will focus the brand on its largest growth markets, specifically North America and China, while withdrawing from western Europe”.
The company said it was “working to find alternative opportunities for any employees who would be affected, consulting with employee representatives where necessary and identifying opportunities for transition and training support where appropriate.”
More details to follow …