RENAULT has denied reports that the company may stop producing diesel engines for small cars sold in Europe, claiming that the market will decide when diesel has run its course, not a manufacturer.
Reuters had previously stated that Renault felt that rising development costs brought about by new European emission regulations would lead to diesel engines becoming uneconomic to make.
A statement from the company said: ‘There is nothing new. Renault has always said that it will adapt its offer according to local market demand. Diesel makes up around 70 per cent of Renault’s sales in the UK today.’
The French car manufacturer, which has been subject to investigation in the wake of the VW emissions scandal, has admitted that new regulation will make diesel engines more expensive, but a spokesman said that the market will decide when prices get too high.
‘Diesel cars are already expensive compared to petrol cars,’ he said. ‘Some small cars aren’t available with these engines because they’re more expensive to produce, but we think consumers will make the decision when diesel is too expensive.’
The company has also refused to rule out the possibility of diesel-electric hybrids being brought into the small car market in a bid to reduce emissions.
After demonstrating the new Scenic dCi 110 hybrid to the press, Renault’s UK communications director, Jeremy Townsend, said: ‘There’s no reason not to [introduce hybrids for smaller models] – we have the technology – but there are no plans at present. It’s currently there to provide benefits for company car drivers.’
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