Toyota to stop selling diesel cars in Europe

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The Japanese vehicle giant revealed the change in strategy at a briefing on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland.

Since then, their HEV sales substantially exceed diesel sales.

Johan van Zyl, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, said: "Toyota's HEV mix in passenger cars reached equality with the diesel mix in 2015".

A motor industry turning away from diesel and European drivers increasingly favouring hybrid cars: add it up and the result is clear - advantage Toyota.

Toyota says the chief goal with the new Auris was to create "the most bold and dynamic hatchback on the market, without compromising on interior usability".

Toyota has been pioneering Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) technology for more than 20 years.

Underneath the new bodywork lies Toyota's TNGA platform, which also underpins models like the Prius and the C-HR. 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.

In February, Porsche announced that it would axe all diesel engine options from its range of cars with immediate effect, claiming there had been a "cultural shift" among customers.

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Environment Minister Denis Naughten said as a country we have no option but to move towards a zero-emissions vehicle society.

Now more than 60 per cent of Burnaston production is hybrid.

Toyota's decision to start phasing out diesel engines from its passenger vehicles will not come as a surprise to auto buyers and sellers in the United Kingdom; demand for new diesels fell by 17 per cent in 2017, with 220,000 fewer diesel cars being registered compared to 2016.

In the UK, Toyota sold 101,692 units past year, of which hybrids made up 45,803 units - equating to 45%, similar to Europe.

Market forces are determining the direction, and Toyota have confirmed they will phase out the production of diesel engines for passenger cars, beginning this year.

'The new generation Auris - to be produced in Burnaston next year - will come with three powertrains, including two petrol-electric hybrids. For several years, HEV versions have been the dominant powertrain where offered. The models account for less than 10 percent of its sales in the region.

Toyota will continue to offer diesel engines in commercial vehicles (including Hilux, Proace and Land Cruiser) to meet customer needs.

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