TOYOTA IS to stop selling diesel-powered passenger cars in Britain by the end of this year, the company announced.
At this week’s Geneva Motor Show, in Switzerland, bosses of the Japanese car giant said that by the end of the year no more new diesel models would be sold in Europe.
The move follows Toyota’s long-term strategy to invest in petrol-electric hybrid technology, more than 20 years ago. It appears to have paid off. Last year, less than than 7 per cent of Toyota cars sold in the UK were diesel. The figure fell to just 4.5 per cent in January.
Johan van Zyl, president and chief executive officer of Toyota Motor Europe told journalists: ‘Toyota will stop selling diesel passenger cars in all European markets by the end of this year.
‘In some markets they will be phased out even faster- some by the end of this quarter.’
The latest Toyota Auris, a rival to the Volkswagen Golf, was revealed at the 2018 Geneva motor show. It now offers drivers a choice of two hybrid-powered models, a frugal 1.8-litre version with 120bhp and a new, more powerful 2-litre model boasting 177bhp.
Of more significance are the fuel economy and CO2 emissions, but the company has not yet released any technical details of the new Auris. Currently more than 60 per cent of Toyota’s production at Burnaston is hybrid, and the Auris will continue to be built there. The new family hatchback looks much more interesting than the outgoing Auris hybrid, reviewed on long-term test here.
Toyota says that the only vehicles to retain diesel engines will be its commercial models: ‘Toyota will continue to offer diesel engines in commercial vehicles – such as Hilux, Proace and Land Cruiser – to meet customer needs.
It comes following the fallout from dieselgate, which has seen the likes of the Volkswagen Group, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Mercedes-Benz all come under the spotlight over the true levels of harmful emissions from some of their diesel-powered cars.
Other car makers, including Volvo and Jaguar, say they will sell only hybrid and electric cars, from 2019 or 2020 respectively.