Is it time to be concerned at how long the Infiniti brand might last?
Nissan's premium brand has been struggling to gain worldwide appeal for a little while now. Recently we learned Infiniti is withdrawing from western Europe as part of a "restructuring plan." That's a huge market to be missing out on, so it shouldn't be a big surprise that the brand is now withdrawing from the Australian market as well.
The Australian News website is reporting that "slow sales and a global change of direction for the brand," has led Infiniti to leave the Australian market. According to the site, sales have dramatically dropped by 10 percent over the past 12 months. Unfortunately, it's not just in other parts of the world Infiniti is suffering from dropping sales.
According to Infiniti, the withdrawal is "the next step in a strategic plan that will provide greater efficiencies." In plain language, that will mean Infiniti was losing money in Australia after trying to crack the market for seven years. That does leave the larger markets of Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East as well as its biggest markets consisting of China and the US. However, things aren't going great guns for Infiniti in the US where sales have also been dropping steadily after a high in 2017, and are on track to fall again in 2019.
Hopefully, Infiniti's retraction from the Western European and Australian markets will free up resources to concentrate on China and the US to start pulling back ground. Infiniti is going to have to develop a successful electrification program and hope new models such as the coupe-like version of the QX50 it teased as the QX55, also work out. It will be a tough task as competitors like Hyundai and its premium Genesis brand are consistently raising their game. Genesis, in particular, is seemingly unafraid of trying to break into tough markets including Australia. In fact, after the rocky run-up, Genesis recently took its first steps into the Aussie market.