Japanese automaker Nissan announced it will phase out diesel versions of passenger cars in Europe.
The decision was made amid a slump in demand for diesel vehicles since Volkswagen’s emissions cheating and tighter regulation of diesel in the European market. The UK and France have announced plans to ban sales of both gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2040.
Last month Nissan said that it would be cutting hundreds of jobs at its Sunderland plant, the UK’s biggest automotive factory, due to the slump in European demand for diesel cars.
Demand for diesel cars in the UK, Europe’s second-largest autos market, dropped by a quarter in April, while demand for petrol cars was up 38.5 per cent.
Gradual withdrawal of diesel cars in Europe
A spokesperson for the company told Reuters said there would be a gradual withdrawal of diesel cars in Europe.
Nissan will shift its focus on electric and gas-electric hybrid vehicles instead.
“Along with other manufacturers and industry bodies we can see the progressive decline of diesel but we do not anticipate its sudden end in the short-term. At this point in time and for many customers, modern diesel engines will remain in demand and continue to be available within Nissan’s powertrain offering,” the Nissan spokeswoman told Reuters.
“In Europe, where our diesel sales are concentrated, our electrification push will allow us to discontinue diesel gradually from passenger cars at the time of each vehicle renewal,” she added.
Toyota also plans to gradually stop selling diesel car sales in Europe and Subaru similarly announced that it will end diesel vehicle sales in Europe around fiscal 2020.