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Infiniti to exit Australia

Nissan's premium brand gives up on Australia after years of dismal sales, and puts all its focus onto China and North America
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Nissan's premium brand Infiniti will stop selling cars in Australia in late 2020, after almost a decade of spinning its wheels against luxury competitors.

The company will keep selling and servicing cars through its five dealers (two in each of Sydney and Melbourne and one in Perth) until this time, or until existing stock is exhausted.

Beyond this it must offer sales and servicing support on all sold vehicles for a decade. It will presumably do this through Nissan's service centres and parts facilities.

Pictured: Infiniti Q60 coupe

"The company will confirm these arrangements in the months to come," it said today. It also hopes to re-allocate Infiniti Australia head office staff to roles within Nissan where possible.

Infiniti launched here in mid-2012. Between then and now it has sold 3987 vehicles over seven years, at an average of 570 units per year or 47 units per month.

For context, this year conceptually-similar rival Lexus averages 800 sales per month. More damningly, Mercedes-Benz Australia sold 4050 vehicles in June alone (admittedly including commercials), meaning it sold more units in one month than Infiniti over seven years.

Pictured: Infiniti QX70 crossover

The company's current line-up includes the Mercedes-based Q30 hatch and QX30 crossover, the Q50 sedan, Q60 coupe, QX70 crossover (which was part of the 2012 launch, badged FX), and Nissan Patrol-based QX80.

It joins a list of brands to withdraw from Australia after unsuccessful cracks at this uber-competitive market (more than 60 brands, angling for a modest 1.1 million sales overall) such as Opel, Chery and Proton.

A short release justifies the call based on its global need for "greater efficiencies as the brand refocuses on priorities leading up to the electrification of its portfolio over the next three years".

Pictured: The QX50 crossover, which never made it here.

What this means is a full pivot to the core markets of China and North America, where it sells the vast majority of its vehicles.

Infiniti has already announced its intention to exit Western Europe by early 2020, to axe diesel engines from its range, and "realise more synergies with Nissan...." to reduce R&D costs.

"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," it states.

Pictured: Infiniti Qs Inspiration concept

"These actions are all part of Infiniti's vision to become a top challenger brand in the premium segment."

Perhaps. Just not in Australia.