Suzuki and Mitsubishi to stop selling diesel cars in Europe

Article by Christian A., on October 19, 2018

The diesel exodus in Europe continues. Years ago, carmakers have been in a sweeping race to offer more diesel-powered vehicles in the continent, which hunger for such transports seems unending. But now, it looks like carmakers – including Japanese company Suzuki and Mitsubishi Motors -- are also in a race, but this time, it is to exit from the shrinking market in Europe before it becomes too late.

Yes, Suzuki and Mitsubishi Motors are the latest of the carmakers that are saying goodbye to their diesel-powered offerings in Europe, in light of the growing dislike for such engine technology in the region. They will be joining fellow Japanese carmaker Nissan and Toyota in getting rid of diesel vehicles from their European lineup.

Interestingly, Mitsubishi Motors’ decision isn't really surprising as 34 percent of the carmaker is owned by Nissan and the company is also a part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Mitsubishi has already halted sales of new diesel car in the United Kingdom. It has also stopped sales of diesel-powered cars in Germany. The only diesel vehicles that would remain in Mitsubishi’s lineup are its pickups, but that would only be for the short term. Diesel offerings accounted up to 30 percent of the Japanese carmaker’s sales in Europe in 2017.

As for Suzuki, the Japanese carmaker has already discontinued a number of diesel-powered models. But its latest decision would mean that its vehicle lineup would soon be void of diesel units. In 2017, Suzuki sold around 281,000 cars in Europe, only around 10 percent which are diesel-powered models. This is in sharp contrast to its sales situation in India, where diesel cars approximately accounted for the carmaker’s sales in 2017. Because of this, Suzuki will still be selling diesel vehicles in India.

With the exit of Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota from the diesel car market in Europe, Mazda is now the only major Japanese carmaker that is selling such cars in the region.

In past few months, Volvo and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have disclosed plans to axe their diesel offerings. The Volvo V60 will be the carmaker’s last diesel-optioned car while FCA is promising to halt sales of diesel vehicles by 2022. Porsche, meanwhile, has decided it has nothing to do with diesel vehicles anymore, no thanks to the decreasing demand for such technology and the surge in demand for electric vehicles.

In contrast, BMW has confirmed its commitment to diesel technology, claiming that it has the best diesel engine. BMW also claims that its models have the lowest emissions among diesel-powered vehicles.

A report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) confirms a huge decline in the demand for diesel cars. It reported that as of start of 2017, diesel cars accounted for 42.5 percent of the automotive sales in Europe. But at the start of 2018, the European market share of diesel cars had shrunk to 36.5 percent. Carmakers only sold 3.12 million diesel cars to European customers in the period, corresponding to a 16 percent drop.

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