Clean diesel cars: Japanese OEMs plan launch in Japan and Europe
Mazda, Subaru and Honda to introduce their first diesel cars in Japanese market
"Clean diesel cars" refer to vehicles powered by diesel engines (DE) that meet the emissions standards put into force in 2009 and thereafter (P-NLT = Post-New Long-Term Regulations in Japan, Euro 5 in Europe, Tier II Bin 5 in the United States).
Compared to the European markets where DE cars account for 50 percent of passenger car sales, Japanese markets only have a very low percentage, less than 1 percent in 2011, due to a number of reasons: decreasing DE makes resulting from tighter regulations, consumers' image of DE cars being environmentally hazardous, and the high prices. However, the consumers are beginning to praise their fuel efficiencies amid the recent progress in clean emissions technologies.
In February 2012, Mazda launched its first clean diesel cars in the Japanese market while Subaru and Honda have plans to launch their DE cars. As a new emission standard, Euro 6, being introduced in Europe in 2014 will be equivalent to Japan's P-NLT, European automakers have plans to launch new DE cars in the Japanese market.
Many Japanese automakers have been selling DE cars in Europe. Recently, the introduction of tighter regulations on fuel efficiency is accelerating the engine downsizing in Europe, resulting in a growing demand for smaller diesel engines. Japanese automakers are also required to sell a broader variety of DE cars in order to increase vehicle sales in Europe. Launch plans for Europe among Japanese automakers include the newly-developed 1.6-liter DE cars by Honda and the 1.4-liter DE cars by Mazda. Toyota is launching DE cars powered by 1.6-/2.0-liter DE supplied by BMW while Suzuki is launching cars powered by Fiat-'s 1.6-liter DE.
Exhaust emission standards in Japan, Europe, and the US
|Euro 5||Euro 6||Tier II Bin 5|
|Enforcement||October 2009||September 2009||September 2014||2009MY|
Source: JAMA and others
Sales of diesel passenger cars in Japan
|Other Japanese OEMs||9||8||3|
|Diesel passenger cars||9,745||9,072||5,984|
|All passenger cars||2,927,602||2,386,036||984,625|
|Ratio of diesel passenger cars||0.3%||0.4%||0.6%|
Source: Automobile Registration Statistics (Japan Automobile Dealers Association) (Passenger cars do not include mini vehicles.)