Toyota’s Derbyshire car factory is to stop producing Auris cars powered by diesel engines.
The Japanese manufacturers has announced which Auris models it will be selling in 2018 – and it would appear the firm has decided to drop the diesel-powered versions of the car from its range.
The Auris is exclusively built at Toyota’s Burnaston factory and in recent years it has been producing two diesel versions of the car – one powered by a turbo-charged 1.4 litre engine and another fitted with a 1.6 litre engine.
But from next year, Toyota will be offering just two powertrain options – a 1.8-litre petrol-electric hybrid and a 1.2-litre turbocharged direct-injection petrol engine.
Engines for the Auris are manufactured at the firm’s Deeside factory in North Wales.
Some have speculated that the reason why Toyota has decided to drop the diesel-powered Auris is because of the Government’s impending tax hikes to reduce air pollution.
In the autumn budget last month, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond confirmed that diesel cars sold from April 1, 2018, onwards will be pushed up a tax band unless they conform certain emission standards.
The Auris is exclusively made at Toyota’s Burnaston factory
But Toyota, which later this month will celebrate 25 years of building cars in Derbyshire, has said its decision is not connected with the tax hikes – and that the reason why it is dropping the diesel Auris is to allow it to focus on versions of the Auris that were “in demand”.
Auris diesel models represent a small percentage of overall Auris sales. In the year to date, Toyota has sold just 651 Auris diesels.
In comparison, the hybrid version of the Auris, powered by a combination of petrol and electricity, has grown in popularity because they are considered to be more eco-friendly and cheaper to run and maintain. So far this year, 10,313 have been sold.
A Toyota GB spokesman said: “We have always believed that hybrid offers compelling advantages when compared to diesel and for the last couple of years our customers think so too.
Auris models powered by hybrid technology have become increasingly popular
“While the Government announcement has undoubtedly created more interest in our hybrid models, the sales trend was already in their favour before this announcement was made.”
Back in September, Toyota launched its own scrappage scheme to encourage more motorists to make the switch to hybrid-powered cars.
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The scheme is open to any vehicle that is more than seven years old and has been in the same ownership for a minimum of six months.
Those who take advantage of the scheme, which runs until December 31, will receive £3,500 off a new Auris, Auris Hybrid or Avensis.
At the time, the company said that it hoped the scheme would encourage more people to ditch their older, higher emissions cars and try its range of hybrid cars.
Source: Derby Telegraph