Infiniti builds the QX50 in Aguascalientes, Mexico. A report says the brand has stopped developing a car to be made in the plant.
TOKYO — Infiniti will halt development of a luxury compact car with Daimler because of the shift in U.S. consumer demand from cars toward light trucks, according to Japan’s Nikkan Kogyo business daily.
Infiniti’s parent, Nissan Motor Co., also was concerned about uncertainties in the outlook for tariffs, the newspaper said.
After the report, Nissan said it is still committed to cooperating with Daimler.
The vehicle would have been built in Aguascalientes, Mexico, leaving it vulnerable to possible tariffs as the U.S. government seeks to renegotiate NAFTA, the report said.
That plant, a 50-50 venture between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, was completed in 2017 and has annual capacity for 230,000 vehicles. In December, the factory began making the Infiniti QX50 crossover, based on a platform jointly developed with Daimler.
Nissan spokesman Shiro Nagai declined to comment on the report, saying the company can’t discuss future product plans. But he said Nissan and the alliance remain committed to the wide-ranging partnership in place with the German parent company of Mercedes-Benz.
Added Infiniti spokesman Trevor Hale: “The cooperation between the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and Daimler is solid and we continue to reap the benefits of our successful cooperation, which includes a number of r&d and manufacturing initiatives around the world.”
Among other projects, Nissan and Daimler jointly produce engines at Nissan’s plant in Decherd, Tenn. The two also have agreed to jointly develop a pickup for Mercedes.