New Toyota Corolla hatch revealed at Geneva show

Toyota sounds the death knell for diesel: Japanese giant to stop selling cars powered by the fuel in Britain and Europe by end of the year
GENEVA MOTOR SHOW: Toyota dumps diesel

07 March, 2018

A vehicle with the Volkswagen VW logo badge is seen on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., January 16, 2018.

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?

The Japanese company is the world's third largest vehicle manufacturer but it has always struggled to match that impact in Europe.

Toyota will have no diesel passenger cars on sale in Europe by the end of this year, citing limited demand and widespread uptake of hybrid alternatives.

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Toyota's C-HR model was launched in late 2016 without a diesel, but with a popular hybrid accounting for 78 per of sales.

Based on customer feedback the brand has chose to offer its core models with a choice of two hybrid electric powertrains.

The new 2.0-liter hybrid engine builds on the 1.8-liter's competencies and takes advantage of Toyota's TNGA architecture that also underpins the new Camry and Prius. 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. The decision not to include a diesel option in its lineup might seem hazardous, but given the direction things are headed, you could say Toyota is more of a visionary than a risk-taker. Diesel was once Europe's darling, but has been on the decline ever since Volkswagen's emissions cheating scandal erupted in 2015. For now, the company will release its Auris (Corolla based hatchback) without any diesel option while offering two hybrid options in Europe.

In a statement later, Toyota confirmed: 'At an executive meeting with media on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show, Toyota shared the next step of its powertrain strategy in Europe. Customers have a choice of a 122-hp 1.8-liter or a 180-hp 2.0-liter hybrid powertrains. It must be noted that Toyota will continue to offer diesel engines on its commercial vehicles like the Hilux, Proace and Land Cruiser. The models account for less than 10 percent of its sales in the region.

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