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Suzuki, Mitsubishi Motors to stop selling diesel cars in Europe

Suzuki Motor Corp. intends to halt diesel car sales in Europe by the end of 2018 while Japanese peer Mitsubishi Motors Corp. plans to do the same in the U.K. and Germany amid tightening emissions regulations across the region, the Nikkei Asian Review reported Oct. 15.

Diesel car sales in Europe are on the decline because of this, falling to 44.4% of total cars in 2017 from over 50% in 2011. That figure is set to slip to 32.5% in 2022, the Nikkei reported, citing research firm IHS Markit.

Suzuki Motor already stopped producing diesel-powered models at the carmaker's Hungarian facility in the summer of 2018. It sold 281,000 vehicles in Europe for the year ended March 31, of which diesel cars, comprised of two compact SUVs, accounted for less than 10% of sales, according to the report.

Nevertheless, Suzuki Motor reportedly plans to continue selling diesel cars in India.

Meanwhile, diesel cars made up nearly 30%, or about 52,000 units, of Mitsubishi Motors' Europe sales for the year through March. The automaker could extend its diesel withdrawal to France and other markets, the report said.

However, Mitsubishi Motors reportedly will continue selling diesel-powered pickup trucks in the region.

The two automakers join their Japanese peers, Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., in curtailing the sales of diesel cars in 2018.

The report said the latest withdrawal leaves Mazda Motor Corp. as the only Japanese automaker still focusing on diesel cars for Europe. Mazda plans to release its first diesel hybrid vehicle in Europe and Japan in 2020, and possibly in the U.S. in the future.