Currently reading: Suzuki drops diesel from UK line-up as demand tumbles
Japanese car maker is latest to drop oil-burners from range amid a changing market
Sam Sheehan
News
2 mins read
9 April 2018

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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spqr 10 April 2018

End of diesel?

Not quite. Suzuki like most Japanese manufacturers did not invest heavily in diesel as they mainly sell cars outside the EU. What is being forgotten is that apart from the EU car market (until March 2019 that includes the UK) diesels are not sold in great numbers in other large markets like the USA, Russia, the Middle East etc so the view of diesel and its apparent importance to environmental issues is skewed here in Europe. In the USA it was VW that tried to introduce so-called “Clean Diesel” and we all know where that ended. Instead of diesel the Japanese manufacturers invested in hybrid and electric cars. When a European manufacturer decides to drop diesel from its range that will be the weather vane for the end of diesel in the UK if not quite the EU. Given the rapidly advancing war on diesel in France with bans on them in city centres it could be a French maker that drops diesel first. As for increased CO2 due to a slight shift to petrol in the last 2 years (not long enough for any meaningful impact and no longer seen as a major plank of global warming by many scientists) or the profound environmental threat of the middle class wood burning stove (irrelevant and insignificant compared to other combustion sources) that is the territory of the tin foil hat brigade. 

Jimbbobw1977 9 April 2018

I wonder how that contract

I wonder how that contract works with Fiat? They just cancel like that and it’s done or is a clause is in place where they have to pay to get out early.  

xxxx 9 April 2018

Another forward step by Suzuki

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

typos1 9 April 2018

No, but they do make proper

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

xxxx 9 April 2018

Not worth the investment

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 9 April 2018

Lol, so now he has a record

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 10 April 2018

You're so sad

typos1 wrote:

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.

just go away and talk to Suzuki, remember to tell them you know best