- Infiniti pulls the plug on UK and European sales
- 750 new cars sold in Britain last year 'unsustainable'
- What it means to owners, warranties and servicing
Infiniti is pulling out of the UK market, in a dramatic U-turn for Nissan's upmarket premium brand. The idea at launch back in 2009 was to turn Infiniti into the Japanese BMW, but that plan is now acknowledged to have failed.
In a sweeping restructure, Infiniti confirmed it would close all six UK dealerships in March 2020. The showrooms will remain open until then to sell any remaining stock, handle warranty claims and service the 10,000 or so Infinitis sold in the brand's decade on sale.
I have a new Infiniti on order. What do I do?
If you've already put a deposit down on a new Infiniti, nothing has changed. Your car should still arrive at the same time and be delivered by the same showroom. Check your contract, but it seems highly unlikely that you can wriggle out of the purchase if you've already committed to a new car, such as the Q30 hatchback (above).
There are six dealerships in the UK:
- Leeds (below)
What about the warranty?
Remember that Infiniti is part of Nissan, one of the world's biggest car makers. The brand is not closing altogether - it is merely withdrawing from western Europe markets.
It has promised to honour all customer warranties, even after the half dozen showrooms in the UK have closed. It has not yet spelled out what process that will take (it is thought that Nissan dealers could take over after March 2020) but this will be communicated to all owners in the coming months.
Owners should keep tabs on the customer section of the Infiniti website here.
And how will I service my Infiniti?
The same applies for maintenance. For the next 12 months, you can go to your nearest Infiniti centre as usual. However, all six UK showrooms will close in March 2020 - and after that, it's not clear where you'll go.
In a statement, Infiniti has pledged to 'fulfil all its obligations towards our customers. Beyond March 2020, we are currently assessing the most effective and convenient way of providing full aftersales services for Infiniti owners including service, maintenance and warranty repairs. We will confirm these arrangements in the months to come.'
Why is Infiniti pulling out of the UK market?
The premium car business has never had the impact intended. In 2009, Nissan launched Infiniti here with much fanfare, as a sportier, more progressive rival to Toyota's Lexus. But it's gained little traction, and last year just 750 new Infinitis were registered in Britain. BMW and Mercedes-Benz both sold 172,000 new cars last year. 'It just wasn't sustainable,' an Infiniti spokesman told Parkers.