A recently published report says that by 2022 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are no longer going to produce diesel powered passenger cars, but could continue making trucks with diesel engines.
The plan, which was first reported by the Financial Times on Sunday, comes after a big drop in demand by consumers in Europe following the fallout after the emissions scandal at Germany-based Volkswagen, where the automaker installed cheat software to beat emissions tests for millions of vehicles.
Fiat Chrysler, which at the current time does not sell any of its diesel passenger cars in the U.S. or Canada, continues to enjoy popularity with them in both Europe and Asia due to being more fuel efficient than are gas engines.
However, this does not mean diesel will be eliminated completely from the FCA lineup of vehicles. The automaker is expected to keep producing diesel options for some of its trucks and SUVs in the U.S., including the Ram 1500 pickup and the Jeep Wrangler.
General Motors and Ford have diesels included in their lineups including the Chevrolet Silverado and the Ford F-150.
However, the plans by Fiat Chrysler highlight a continuing collapse of what has for years been an important fuel source within Europe. For instance, diesel sales for Germany were down to just 33.3% during January from a level of 45.1% during the same one month period one year ago.
Diesel is still very popular for some uses in the United State due to its fuel efficiency and torque benefits even though concerns continue about health impacts it has.
Diesel came under and continues to be under much scrutiny by U.S. regulators, with FCA negotiating with the Department of Justice, which is said to want to place substantial penalties as well as recalls of vehicles to settle the allegations of cheating emissions for its Ram pickups as well as Grand Cherokees. Any intentional wrongdoing has been denied by FCA in that case.
In the report over the weekend, unnamed sources that were familiar with FCA’s strategy are cited. The report said that the announcement about curtailing production of diesel powered cars by FCA would be made in June. The plan the automaker has is part of a bigger plan the automaker has as it prepares for the retirement in 2019 of its CEO Sergio Marchionne.