Nissan’s decision to quit sales of diesel cars in Europe, where demand has slumped as customers worry about tax rises and looming bans, is set to see more automakers join in.
Nissan in Europe said this week that it will phase out diesel versions of passenger cars when its European models are revamped and shift its focus to electrified variants.
Toyota said in March that it will stop selling diesel-powered passenger cars in Europe by the end of this year. Diesels account for less than 10% of Toyota’s car sales in Europe. It will continue to offer diesels versions of its Land Cruiser, Hilux and Proace vans.
Other Japanese automakers could follow Nissan and Toyota as the region moves to tougher emission standards after Volkswagen Group’s diesel emissions-rigging scandal.
“The Japanese especially I could see doing this, since they were more skeptical of the technology from the beginning and don’t have a lot of competence in the field,” said Stefan Bratzel, director of automotive management at the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, naming Honda and Mazda as two likely candidates to drop diesels.
Last year, European demand for diesels slipped 7.9% to 6.77 million vehicles, resulting in a 43.8 percent share. That’s down from a peak of 54.9% in 2011, according to figures from market researcher JATO Dynamics.