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Nissan's luxury brand Infiniti to exit Western Europe

Infiniti, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.'s luxury division, said it will withdraw from Western Europe in early 2020, the automaker announced March 12.

Infiniti said in a news release that the restructuring plan will help the brand focus on the North American and Chinese markets. The automaker added that this will not impact its operations in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Production of the Infiniti Q30 and QX30 crossover models will end by mid-2019 at the automaker's manufacturing plant in Sunderland, U.K., according to the news release.

The Hong Kong-based automaker said it will begin electrifying its vehicle portfolio beginning in 2021 as it discontinues diesel options.

In North America, Infiniti will focus on its SUV lineup as consumer preferences shift toward larger vehicles in that market. In China, the automaker will add five vehicles over the next five years.

Infiniti said it is "working to find alternative opportunities for any employees who would be affected" by the withdrawal in Western Europe. The company's retail operations in the region will operate until there is a transition plan for after-sales services, including maintenance and warranty repairs.