Toyota to stop selling diesel cars in Europe this year

Toyota to stop selling diesel cars in Europe this year

Toyota to stop selling diesel cars in Europe this year

This isn't so much a bold move as it is a pragmatic one: if hybrids are on the rise (sales jumped 38 percent year-on-year) while diesel is nearly a rounding error, why keep diesel around?

Product plans beyond 2018 are unconfirmed, a spokesperson said, but the plans will involve phasing out the Avensis, Verso and diesel RAV4 - in the case of the latter, HEV sales outsell the petrol/diesel models two to one.

Other manufacturers, notably Suzuki and Kia, have long-standing commitments to hybrid, but "Toyota was the first and focused all its efforts on developing and positioning the technology as a good alternative" to diesel, said Felipe Munoz, an expert at London-based auto industry analysts Jato Dynamics.

The manufacturer is to boost further sales of petrol-electric hybrid cars which already account for almost half (45 per cent) of sales in the United Kingdom previous year, rising to 48 per cent in January.

Meanwhile, as awareness grows about diesel engines spewing out nitrogen oxide and harmful particulates, diesel sales in Europe are plummeting. Registrations have become increasingly weighted towards hybrids since 2015, when sales were split evenly between hybrids and diesels. Last week, for example, it was reported that automotive giant Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to eliminate diesel engines from all its passenger vehicles by 2022.

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Without giving away technical details, Toyota says the new Corolla will offer improvements in power, torque and efficiency over the current-generation auto.

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LED lights at the front and rear contribute to modern, edgy looks that follow the similarly styled Camry and C-HR. Customers have a choice of a 122-hp 1.8-liter or a 180-hp 2.0-liter hybrid powertrains. Toyota will continue to offer diesel engines in commercial vehicles (including Hilux, Proace and Land Cruiser) to meet customer needs. About 41 percent of cars sold through its European branch were hybrid models, while diesel represented "less than" 10 percent.

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