Japanese car maker is latest to drop oil-burners from range amid a changing market

Suzuki has become the latest car maker to drop all diesel models from its line-up as sales for black-pump cars continue to dwindle.

Last month, diesel sales in Britain fell by 37% compared with March 2017, meaning its decline is shrinking at more than twice the rate of the wider new car market.

Suzuki offered only one diesel engine, the Fiat-built 1.6-litre DDiS, with just two models – the Vitara and SX4 S-Cross. Diesel has long accounted for a small portion of Suzuki’s UK sales, but it now represents just 3% of the company's UK demand. A Suzuki spokesman said this tiny portion encouraged the brand to remove diesel options from sale.

"Due to very low demand for diesel engine models in the UK Suzuki range, the DDiS derivatives of Vitara and SX4 S-Cross for UK only have temporarily ceased production," the spokesman said. "This is due to much higher demand for the Boosterjet petrol models and the real-world fuel consumption that they attain. Diesel engine models will be available from existing stock only."

The spokesman added that diesel models will remain on sale in the Republic of Ireland, where "demand is much stronger".

Just over 1000 units of the diesel Vitara and SX4 S-Cross were sold in the UK last year, when the brand shifted 40,000 units in total in Britain. For this reason, although Suzuki has left the door open for a potential return for diesel in the future, it appears unlikely.

Video: Suzuki Jimny vs Range Rover

The timing of Suzuki’s move suggests it could be linked to upcoming stricter emissions tests, which have been linked to production halts for the Audi SQ5 and BMW M3. However, Suzuki's spokesman told Autocar that the change was purely demand-related: “Our diesel engine was Euro 6 compliant so it’s nothing to do with emissions.”

This is the same explanation provided by Porsche when it dropped the last diesel models it sold, the Macan S Diesel and Panamera 4S Diesel, in February in response to the “cultural shift” of customers.

That said, Porsche will add a diesel option to the latest Cayenne next year, while Suzuki looks set to only offer petrol and mild hybrid models in Britain.

Suzuki has also stopped production of the Jimny, with only existing stocks – amounting to fewer than 200 cars – remaining. The spokesman told Autocar that the model has been removed to make way for its successor, which is due on roads in early 2019.

The next Jimny has been spotted testing on numerous occasions that showed it will feature a more rugged design to emphasise its off-road credentials. The car, expected to be revealed in the final quarter of 2018, is charged with leading a 20% sales growth target for Suzuki.

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Comments
13

9 April 2018

 Could this be the demise of Deisel?, is Hybrid making Fossil fuels not strictly necessary?, ok I know to create Electricity you have to have power Stations generating the stuff which contributes heavily to pollution but that won’t bother most Drivers they want clean efficient cheap Family Transport, Haulage firm and the like would be a natural fit for EV power, like it or not Fossil is on its way out, the longer we dig our Heels in the more we’re contributing to global warming.

Peter Cavellini.

9 April 2018

Nope. Diesels will be made for a long time yet. Mercedes aparently made more last year than ever before.

9 April 2018
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 Could this be the demise of Deisel?, like it or not Fossil is on its way out, the longer we dig our Heels in the more we’re contributing to global warming.

 

Actually the shift from diesel to petrol is increasing CO2 output which is blamed for global warming! 

9 April 2018

Diesel hybrids would be the ideal short term solution, with smaller 2 or 3 cylinder diesel engines, with a cylinder shut down facility, that meet the 2020 Euro 6 regs  and that can also run at a constant speed to chrage the battery as well as powering the car in some situations. The fact that the engine is small, has cylinder de-activation, that it meets the 2020 regs and is a hybrid, would mean emissions would be very low. But thats not fashionable . . . meanwhile throughout Britain, middle classe homes and businesss (such as my local microbrewery pub) continue to spew god knows how many times more NOx and particulates into the air with their log/coal burning fires and stoves and filling it with acrid smells not smelt since the early 1970s, whilst diesels take the blame, are hounded off the road and CO2 emissions sharply rise. Progrees ? No f*cking way - madness ? Definitely.

XXXX just went POP.

9 April 2018

Yes agreed, I'm surprised that no one has built an EV with a small diesel range extender. That engine could be made relatively clean running at constant speed and load, plus it could only be used infrequently and out of town. In fact with intermittent use, it might even escape emission testing altogether - in the same way that petrol range extender EVs are allowed to show ridiculous fuel consumption / CO2 results in official tests. I accept however that achieving acceptable refinement with a small single or twin cylinder diesel would be difficult (I gather that this is also a problem with the range extender BMW i3).

As I see it the far superior thermal efficiency of a diesel (and higher energy density of the fuel) is simply too good to discard.    

9 April 2018

Car air pollution should be tested in real world conditions so we can find out the worst case figures.

New rules are needed to set an upper limit on permitted air pollution emissions - not just per mile or kilometre but for every second that exhaust gases are leaving the car's exhaust in any situation.

9 April 2018

As Suzuki, in general, don't make heavy, high mileage cars it makes sense!

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

9 April 2018

No, but they do make proper off roaders that go off road and tow, so it makes less sense.

XXXX just went POP.

9 April 2018
typos1 wrote:

No, but they do make proper off roaders that go off road and tow, so it makes less sense.

Tiny mileage done off road so irrelevant.  Very few tow'ers, for very few miles, for light towing especially when their biggest car it the lightweight S-Cross. So not worth the investment. So very little sense which is why they did it! 

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

9 April 2018

Lol, so now he has a record of the mileage done off road and towing by Suzuki off roader owners ! They didnt do it in Ireland, they only did it here for fashion reasons, to get with the zeitgeist, however wrong it is.

XXXX just went POP.

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