Infiniti calls it quits on Australia
Nissan’s premium car brand confirms it will withdraw local operations by late 2020.
Infiniti has confirmed it will close operations in Australia, citing ‘greater efficiencies’ and a focus on electrification in other markets.
Nissan’s premium offshoot brand lasted only seven years in Australia since launching in 2012, recording dipping sales year-on-year the last three years. It recorded just under 650 vehicle registrations in 2018.
It is understood that Nissan Australia CEO Stephen Lester made the announcement this morning to local employees. The brand employs staff at its head office and five dealers around the country.
News of Infiniti’s failure to launch Down Under will be vexing for Hyundai’s fledgling premium brand Genesis, which only opened its doors here June this year. Outside of the European premium establishment – makers such as BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz – Toyota’s luxury marque Lexus has been the only continuous success since it began imports in 1990, reaching the height of third best-selling luxury brand in 2006.
However, Infiniti has not been anywhere near as stellar, recording just over 4000 sales during its time in the Aussie market. Globally, the brand also confirmed it would leave Western Europe by 2020, with a focus on success in the US and China.
In its announcement today, Infiniti confirmed it would fully withdraw operations in Australia by late-2020.
“Infiniti Motor Company Ltd. (IML) announced today the next step in a strategic plan that will provide greater efficiencies as the brand focuses on priorities leading up to the electrification of its portfolio over the next three years,” it said in its statement.
“As part of the plan, Infiniti will withdraw and conclude its sales operations in Australia in late 2020. Until this time, the Company will be working with Infiniti Australia dealers to remain operational for full sales and aftersales service.
“Infiniti is committed to fulfilling its obligations to customers in Australia. Beyond 2020, the Company is assessing the most effective and convenient way of providing full aftersales service for Infiniti owners in Australia, including service, maintenance and warranty repairs.
“The Company will confirm these arrangements in the months to come. Globally, Infiniti will electrify its portfolio, discontinue diesel offerings and focus its resources on its best opportunities. The Company will place more focus on its SUV lineup in North America, bring five new vehicles to China over the next five years and work to improve quality of sales and residual value. These actions are all part of Infiniti’s vision to become a top challenger brand in the premium segment,” read the statement in full.
For new car buyers, Infiniti will likely slash prices as it seeks to move stock quickly, including models such as the Q30, QX30, Q50, Q60, QX70 and QX80. It has also committed to servicing existing customers beyond 2020.