The move makes sense; Toyota has never been a diesel powerhouse to begin with.Time is running out for Europeans who want to buy a brand-new diesel-powered Toyota. One of the company's top executives recently suggested the current crop of diesel-burning engines won't be replaced. "My personal opinion - and this is my personal opinion, not a company one - is no, we'll not launch another diesel car," said executive vice president Didier Leroy in an interview with Autocar.
The move is hardly a surprise; Toyota has never been a diesel powerhouse to begin with. It couldn't be bothered with developing an oil-burning engine on its own for the Avensis, the biggest sedan it sells in Europe. Instead, it settled for borrowing a pair of four-cylinder turbodiesel engines from industrial partner BMW.
Toyota's smaller cars aren't available with a diesel anymore; even the new C-HR is gasoline-only. This reflects a growing trend in Europe.
"We took the view, a long time ago, that we would not sell the C-HR with a diesel engine. At the time, the distributors were against my decision. They said they needed diesel for the market. But we needed to follow the long-term trend of eco-vehicles," Leroy explained.
Rival Honda is following a similar path and gradually dropping diesel engines from its European lineup. However, the move is unthinkable for companies like Peugeot, Citroen, and Renault who rely on the European market for the bulk of their sales.
What remains to be seen is how Toyota will power trucks like the Hilux and the Land Cruiser. For many buyers in Europe, stuffing a gasoline engine in a Land Cruiser is out of the question because they need an oil-burner's torque to tow, and its efficiency to save money at the pump.
Photo by Ronan Glon.