Toyota becomes first to announce it won't be selling any new diesel cars in Ireland next year
Diesel is dead for Toyota after the giant automaker announced it is killing off production of passenger cars powered by the controversial fuel.
The decision, the first by a global manufacturer, means there will effectively be no new diesel Toyota cars on sale in Ireland next year.
And it will impact on thousands of Irish buyers planning on renewing or trading-in a diesel this year.
There will be question marks raised by many over the wisdom of buying a diesel car against the backdrop of such renewed uncertainly over the fuel’s future. Equally there will be doubts cast on the value of diesel trade-ins.
Overall, diesel car sales here fell 17pc in the year to January last.
Toyota’s distributors in Ireland registered 4,768 diesel cars last year. Its current sales of diesels are running at just 20pc of its overall mix - compared with 60pc two years ago.
By comparison, hybrids now account for nearly 50pc of its car sales. And that is where they are going to concentrate their energies.
While its passenger diesels will cease from this year, Toyota’s Land Cruiser, Hilux and Proace vehicles will continue with diesel engines as will its commercial vehicles “to meet business needs”, the company says.
Other car makers are bound to be considering similar moves to Toyota’s. For some it is only a matter of time. Last week, for example, it was reported that automotive giant Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to eliminate diesel engines from all its passenger vehicles by 2022.
Globally Toyota plans to focus even more on hybrids as it takes “immediate action away from diesel, which includes all current and future generation passenger cars”.
Toyota Ireland chief Steve Tormey said the announcement showed how serious they are about making cleaner cars as he prepares to lead the Irish market out of diesel.
Environment Minister Denis Naughten said as a country we have no option but to move towards a zero-emissions vehicle society.