Could this be the dagger that kills off diesel in Europe?
Diesel never really took off in the US, but at one point it accounted for well over half of all car sales in Europe. Now, many European countries are looking to ban diesel cars and some want to ban all internal combustion engines entirely. In the US, the death of diesel has been swift, but Europeans still buy plenty of oil-burning cars. Toyota may not sell any diesel models in the US, but it has always sold them in Europe. However, Automotive News Europe reports that Toyota will no longer sell diesels in Italy.
Toyota says that it will no longer sell the last three remaining diesel models: the Yaris, Auris and RAV4. All three diesel variants of these models will be replaced with hybrid models, for all of those Italians that want the best fuel economy out of their Toyota. In a bid to get people to ditch diesel, Toyota will offer a 7,000-Euro incentive to people who trade in their diesel car for a hybrid. Toyota didn't really have a large volume of diesel sales in Italy, so this move makes sense. Only 6% of Toyota's new-car sales in Italy were diesels, with 18% of RAV4 sales and just 6% of Yaris and Auris sales being diesel versions.
Toyota believes that it will be able to compensate for the loss of diesel sales with hybrid models. Even the RAV4, which had a higher ratio of diesel sales, saw slower sales in the second half of 2017. Toyota is also trying to move upscale with its models, so the company doesn't see much risk in losing the business for low-priced diesel models. Even though Toyota is killing off several diesel models, it didn't decide to completely stop building them. Toyota will still sell diesel versions of the Land Cruiser SUV and Hilux pickup truck. This shows that diesel may soon be a thing of the past, but its death is happening much slower in Europe.