Japanese car manufacturer Nissan has indicated that it will gradually stop selling diesel cars in Europe.
The move is the latest sign in the transition to cleaner forms of transport as diesel is hit by falling demand and a tough regulatory environment.
A Nissan spokeswoman told the Reuters news agency that the decision is in keeping with the trend across the continent.
“Along with other manufacturers and industry bodies we can see the progressive decline of diesel but we do not anticipate its sudden end in the short-term. At this point in time and for many customers, modern diesel engines will remain in demand and continue to be available within Nissan’s powertrain offering.”
Sales of diesel cars have been in freefall over the past year, especially in Germany and the UK, where sales declined by 37 percent. Many analysts expect electric vehicles (EVs) to dominate the automobile market over the next decade. Last month, Nissan said it expected to cut jobs at its Sunderland plant in north-east England in response to changes in the market.
The rise of EVs and new policies to curb air pollution have helped contributed to the drop-off. Carmakers, like Nissan, are also keen not to be left behind as the global market for hybrid cars and EVs has started to take off.
“In Europe, where our diesel sales are concentrated, our electrification push will allow us to discontinue diesel gradually from passenger cars at the time of each vehicle renewal,” she added.
Nissan has a partnership with French company Renault and is investing heavily in new solid-state battery technology to gain an advantage in the growing market.