Japanese car giant Toyota will no longer offer diesel cars to customers in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, leaving only hybrid and petrol engine cars in the selection. The company explained the decision with the decreasing interest in diesel-powered cars in the Baltic states.
The interest of the residents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in diesel engine vehicles has decreased in the last few years and the demand for hybrid engine vehicles has increased, Toyota Baltic AS said. The company last year for the first time ever sold more hybrid engine cars than diesel cars in the Baltics.
According to managing director of Toyota Baltic AS Osvaldo Valentini, the increase in the popularity of the hybrid led Toyota to the decision to discontinue offering diesel engines for private cars. "Owning a hybrid is convenient. People more and more often choose a hybrid over a regular model as its upkeep is simple, it is reliable and silent. A Toyota hybrid does not have to be charged from a plug, it has an automatic gear box, low maintenance costs and a high residual value," Valentini said.
People's interest in diesel engine cars is decreasing every year. While in 2011, 3 percent of all cars sold by Toyota in the Baltics were hybrids, 39 percent diesel and 58 percent petrol engine cars, then the share of people preferring hybrids rose to 27 percent last year. The share of diesel cars made up 20 percent of the selection, while petrol engines accounted for 53 percent.
In Estonia, the sale of new Toyota hybrid cast last year exceeded the sale of the diesel versions, when hybrid models made up approximately 22 percent of the entire model choice. Of the more popular models, the customers chose the RAV4 hybrid, Yaris hybrid and Auris hybrid on 47 percent, 45 percent and 36 percent of occasions, respectively.
Starting from 2018, the Toyota Yaris, Auris, Auris Touring Sports, C-HR, Avensis and RAV4 are only available in the petrol engine and hybrid versions. Toyota is selling the models Prius, Prius+ and Prius Plug-in as only hybrid cars.
"Over 11 million customers in the world have already chosen the Toyota hybrid. The larger the number of people preferring hybrids, the smaller is the amount of emissions from driving and the more we can speak of a change in the way of thinking," Valentini said.
Toyota has been decreasing the choice of diesel engine vehicles in Europe year by year. The sale of hybrids in the whole of Europe by now makes up more than 40 percent, the share of diesel vehicles has fallen to 10 percent. There was no diesel version created for the C-HR SUV brought to the market in 2016 and approximately 80 percent of all C-HR vehicles sold in Europe are hybrids.
Founded in 1993, Toyota Baltic AS is the official importer of Toyota and Lexus vehicles that leads and coordinates the sale and marketing as well as activities concerning the secondary market of the aforementioned vehicles in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. As of 2018, there are 20 Toyota dealers and five Lexus dealers as well as five authorized repair shops in the Baltics.
Editor: Dario Cavegn