Japanese car giant Toyota announced Monday that it will stop selling diesel cars in Europe, beginning the phase-out this year.
"Diesel will be phased out in our passenger cars in 2018," Johan van Zyl, president of Toyota Motor Europe, said in Geneva, where Europe's first major car show of the year opens this week. "We will not develop new diesel technology for passenger cars, we'll continue to focus on hybrid" vehicles, he added. Diesel's fall from grace has pushed manufacturers to turn their attention to producing more in-demand petrol models or make the jump to electric, or at least hybrid, vehicles.
Last year nearly 15 percent of Toyota's sales in Europe were from diesel vehicles, down from 30 percent in 2012. Meanwhile sales of Toyota's hybrid models have risen sharply. Toyota vice president Didier Leroy said that back in 2011, before "Dieselgate" erupted, the company had "already started to anticipate the fact that we should not allocate resources to develop a new small diesel engine".
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