Clean diesel cars: Japanese OEMs plan launch in Japan and Europe

Mazda, Subaru and Honda to introduce their first diesel cars in Japanese market

2012/05/10

Summary

 "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.


Related Reports: Mazda's innovative SKYACTIV and new manufacturing technology (April 2012)

Exhaust emission standards in Japan, Europe, and the US

Japan Europe US
Post-New Long-term
Regulations
Euro 5 Euro 6 Tier II Bin 5
PM (g/km) 0.005 0.005 0.005 0.0062
NOx (g/km) 0.08 0.18 0.08 0.0435
Enforcement October 2009 September 2009 September 2014 2009MY

Source: JAMA and others

Sales of diesel passenger cars in Japan

(unit)
2010 2011 Jan.-Mar.
2012
  Mazda 3,101
Mitsubishi 1,140 2,187 669
Nissan 5,706 4,870 1,578
Other Japanese OEMs 9 8 3
Imports 2,890 2,007 633
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.)



Clean diesel cars being introduced in Japanese market

 Only five makes of clean DE cars were sold in Japan as of the end of 2011, namely the Nissan X-Trail since September 2008, the Mitsubishi Pajero since September 2010, and Daimler's three models. DE cars are more fuel efficient than the gasoline-powered cars and run on diesel oil that is cheaper than gasoline fuel. But their market penetration in Japan has been limited because of rattling, noise and higher vehicle price.

 The situation is changing after Mazda's launch in February 2012 of the CX-5 cars that comply with strict emissions regulations without the aid of the expensive NOx after-treatment systems which helps lower the vehicle price. Subaru and Honda, as well as BMW and some other European automakers, are also planning to launch their DE cars in Japan. These moves suggest that the diesel engine cars are receiving new attention in the Japanese market.

Clean diesel cars being introduced in Japanese market

Japanese OEMs European OEMs
Honda Mitsubishi Subaru Mazda Mitsubishi Nissan Renault BMW Daimler
Model CR-V Delica D:5 SUV CX-5 Pajero X-Trail Lutecia X5 M-Class
Announced
in
(Reported
in Apr. 2012)
Mar. 2012 Jan. 2012
Launched
in
2013 First half
of 2013
2013 Feb. 2012 Sep. 2010 Sep. 2008 2013 Jan. 2012 May 2010
Engine
designation
4N13,
4N14
(to be
improved
before
installment)
SKYACTIV-
D2.2
4M41 M9R 3.0L I6
diesel
642
Engine
type
In-line four-cylinder direct-injection turbo diesel engine Horizontally-opposed four-cylinder turbo diesel engine In-line four-cylinder direct-injection
turbo diesel engine
In-line six-cylinder direct-injection turbo diesel engine V6 direct-injection turbo diesel engine
Displacement 1600cc 1800cc
or
2200cc
2188cc 3200cc 1995cc 1600cc 3000cc 2986cc
Max. power
kW/rpm
129/4500 140/3500 127/3750 180/4000 155/3400
Max. torque
N・m/rpm
420/2000 441/2000 360/2000 540/
1750-3000
540/
1600-2400
Transmission 6-speed AT 5-speed AT 6-speed MT/
6-speed AT
8-speed AT 7-speed AT
Vehicle
weight
1510kg
(2WD)
2110kg
(Short)
1690kg
(AT)
2220kg 2,290kg
Fuel
consumption
(JC08)
(km/L)
18.6
(2WD)
10.4
(Short)
13.8
(AT)
11.0 9.4
(In-house
estimate)
CO2
emission
(JC08)
(g/km)
140.9
(2WD)
252
(Short)
190
(AT)
Emission
standard
Post-New Long-term Regulations Post-New Long-term Regulations
Price JPY 2,580,000
(2WD)
JPY 3,843,000
(Short)
JPY 3,139,500
(AT)
JPY 8,390,000 JPY 8,140,000
Source: Each OEM's press release and others
(Notes) 1. Listed in the order of launch dates starting with the most recent dates (including plans).
2. Clean DE cars are eligible for eco-car tax credit, namely vehicle acquisition tax and weight tax exemptions (through the end of March and the end of April 2015, respectively). They are also eligible for subsidies for introducing clean energy vehicles (through March 2013).
3. The diesel AT version of the Nissan X-Trail was released for sale in July 2010.

 

 



Clean diesel cars being introduced by Japanese automakers in European market

 Many Japanese automakers plan to enhance their DE car lineup to boost their vehicle sales in the European market. Their launch plans for 2012 include the Honda Civic powered by the newly-developed 1.6-liter DE, the Mitsubishi Outlander powered by the low compression ratio 2.2-liter DE, the Subaru Legacy Tourer powered by the newly-developed horizontally-opposed 2.0-liter DE, and the Mazda CX-5 powered by the Skyactiv 2.2-liter DE.

Main clean diesel cars being introduced by Japanese automakers in European market

Honda Mitsubishi Subaru Mazda Nissan Toyota Suzuki Mitsubishi Toyota
Model Civic Outlander Legacy
Tourer
CX-5 Qashqai Yaris Swift ASX
(RVR in
Japan)
Verso
Announced in Sep. 2011 Feb. 2012 Feb. 2012 Sep. 2011
Launched in End of 2012 After summer of 2012 Feb. 2012 Feb. 2012 Sep. 2011 Jul. 2011 Jun. 2011 May 2010 Feb. 2009
Engine designation 4N14 SKYACTIV-
D2.2
1.6dCi 1.4 D-4D D13A 4N13 2.0 D-4D
Engine type In-line four-cylinder direct-injection turbo diesel engine Horizontally-opposed four-cylinder turbo diesel engine In-line four-cylinder direct-injection turbo diesel engine
Displacement 1600cc 2200cc 2000cc 2191cc 1598cc 1364cc 1248cc 1800cc 1998cc
Max. power
kW/rpm
88 130/3500 108 110/4500 96/4000 66/3800 55/4000 110/4000 93/3600
Max. torque
N・m/rpm
300 380/2000 350 380/
1800-2600
320/1750 205/
1800-3000
190/1750 300/
2000-3000
310/
1800-2400
Transmission 6-speed MT 6-speed MT 6-speed MT 6-speed MT 6-speed MT 5-speed MT 6-speed MT 6-speed MT
Vehicle weight 1560kg
(2WD)
1498kg
(2WD)
1065kg 1125kg 1460kg
(2WD)
1625kg
Fuel consumption
(JC08)
(km/L)
17.56 21.74
(2WD)
22.2
(2WD)
25.64 23.8 18.2
(2WD)
18.9
CO2 emission
(JC08)
(g/km)
Less than 100
(to be achieved)
130 (2WD)
(to be achieved)
149 119
(2WD)
119
(2WD)
104 109 145
(2WD)
139
Emission standard Euro6
(to be achieved)
Euro6 Euro5 Euro5 Euro5 Euro5 Euro5
Source: Each OEM's UK Website (as of mid-April 2012) and others
(Notes) 1. Listed in the order of launch dates starting with the most recent dates (including plans).
2. The mileage and CO2 emissions of the Nissan Qashqai are those of the model with the StopStart system (available since the beginning of 2012).

 

 



Main features of the clean DE being introduced by Japanese automakers (including the DE introduced in Japan by European automakers)

 The clean DEs introduced by Japanese automakers generally use the common-rail direct injection systems in which fuel is injected under high pressure (1600-2000 bar). An increasing number of turbochargers are of the highly efficient ones such as the variable nozzle vane turbocharger. Mitsubishi and Mazda have developed DE with a low compression ratio to suppress emissions of NOx and PM (particulate matter). Their DE requires no exhaust gas after-treatment system or only a small system.

Features and the exhaust gas after-treatment systems of main clean diesel engines

(The common-rail direct fuel injection system, see Note 1,
and the ordinary turbochargers that are common to all diesel engines are omitted.)
Engine designation Features of engine Exhaust gas aftertreatment systems
Mitsubishi 4N13
(Europe・ASX)
Low compression ratio (14.9), Fuel injection pressure 2000 bar, variable valve system, aluminum cylinder block Oxidation catalyst, DPF
The low compression ratio of 14.9 (normally 16 to 18) improves mileage and noise suppressing performances and reduces NOx emissions. Problems associated with low compression ratios (cold startability, increase in unburned HC emission etc.) have been solved by advancing the closing time of the intake valves to improve the effective compression ratio and reducing the lift of one of the intake valves to enhance the swirl (larger mixing within the cylinder).
Subaru 2.0-liter horizontally-opposed DE
(Europe・Legacy Tourer)
Turbochargers of higher efficiency, improved exhaust camshafts, lighter-weight connecting rods New catalyst system, DPF
The horizontally-opposed system is less rattling and noisier, in and out of the compartment, than the non-flat type engines as the right and left pistons cancel out their vibrations. It represents a 7 percent improvement in fuel efficiency and enhanced performances overall from the conventional DE. When combined with the 6-speed MT, the system gives a maximum speed of 193km/h and accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 9.6 seconds.
Mazda SKYACTIV-D2.2
(Japan・CX-5)
Low compression ratio (14), two-stage turbochargers, multi-hole piezoelectric injectors, variable valve lift system DPF (no need for
NOx after-treatment)
The low compression ratio of 14.0 contributes to 20 percent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to Mazda's conventional DE and to suppressing NOx and PM emissions. It eliminates the need for the expensive NOx after-treatment system and allows the size of the PM after-treatment system to be reduced to the minimum. These have resulted in substantial vehicle weight reduction and low vehicle prices. The multi-hole piezoelectric injector has ten injection nozzles to inject fuel in the optimal pattern. The two-stage turbocharger, in which a large and a small turbocharger are operated selectively according to driving conditions, has realized a smooth response from low to high ranges and a substantial increase in torque in low range.
Nissan M9R
(Japan・X-Trail)
Fuel injection pressure 1600 bar, piezoelectric injectors, variable nozzle turbochargers, double swirl port High-dispersion type lean NOx trap catalyst (Note 2), DPF
The double swirl port has the intake and exhaust ports in opposed positions to generate a swirl and mix air and fuel more efficiently. The "high-dispersion type lean NOx trap catalyst" featured on the diesel AT model released for sale in July 2010 has a unique high-dispersion type catalyst for the NOx purification and NOx trap layers. This suppresses the surface area loss of the catalyst due to deterioration by heat and gives the same performance with nearly half the amount of precious metals used in conventional technologies.
Honda 1.6-liter diesel
(to be launched in
Japan and Europe)
Fuel injection pressure 1800 bar, solenoid type injectors, aluminum open-deck type cylinder blocks, compact and high efficiency variable vane type turbochargers Lean NOx catalyst (Note 2), DPF
The conventional closed deck type aluminum cylinder block has been replaced by the open-deck type for considerable weight reduction to make the engine the lightest in the world among 1.6-liter class diesel engines (170kg, lighter by 50kg than the conventional products).The progress in injector technology allows the piezoelectric injectors to be replaced by the more economical solenoid type injectors without affecting the original performances. The use of the compact and highly-efficient variable vane type turbochargers and the weight reduction of the reciprocal sliding parts have led to better engine responsiveness. The result is more than 5 percent improvement in fuel efficiency and a 10 percent improvement in acceleration performance compared to conventional 1.6-liter class diesel engines.
Toyota 1.4 D-4D
(Europe・Yaris)
Fuel injection pressure 1600 bar, piezoelectric injectors Catalyst system, DPF
Toyota's first DE with an aluminum cylinder block and the smallest displacement among Toyota's DEs has a maximum speed of 175km/h and accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 10.8 seconds along with 7 percent higher fuel efficiency and 6 percent less CO2 emission than the conventional Yaris models.
Suzuki D13A
(Europe・Swift)
The engine is produced under licensing by Fiat
BMW 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder diesel
(Japan・X5)
Fuel injection pressure 1800 bar, piezoelectric injectors, variable geometry turbochargers Urea SCR system (Note 3), DPF
The variable geometry turbocharger allows the guide vane angle to be altered according to the engine's revolution to optimize the flow of the exhaust gas. This contributes to better response, higher torque characteristics in low ranges and lower fuel consumption. Fuel efficiency is improved by more than 30 percent compared to gasoline fueled models.
Daimler 642
(Japan・M-Class)
Piezoelectric injectors, variable nozzle turbine (VNT) turbochargers Urea SC system, DPF
Source: Each OEM's press release and others
(Notes) 1. The common-rail direct fuel injection system is a fuel injection system for diesel engines. It stores fuel in a pressure accumulator (common rail) at high pressure and controls the amount and timing of injection with the injection nozzles. A higher injection pressure gives a finer fuel atomization in near-perfect combustion and reduces the PM emissions. The system can also inject fuel in several stages. By injecting a minimum amount of fuel in the early stage, it reduces the explosiveness of main combustion caused by ignition which, in turn, reduces NOx and noise.
2. NOx trap catalyst, lean NOx catalyst, and NOx absorption and reduction catalyst are synonyms of the system designed to purify NOx in the exhaust gas. NOx is stored temporarily in the catalyst until a fuel-rich condition is produced to cause reaction with the hydrocarbon (HC) and purify NOx.
3. The urea SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) system is designed to purify NOx in the exhaust gas. When an aqueous urea solution (AdBlue is the trademark held by the German Association of Automobile Industry) is injected in the exhaust system, ammonia (NH3) is produced in hydrolysis caused by the exhaust heat. As H2O is produced by a reaction between the hydrogen in ammonia and the oxygen in NOx, oxygen is eliminated from around the nitrogen. This prevents NOx to be generated again. This system has a high NOx purification rate ranging from 80 to 95 percent but requires a urea solution injector and a tank.

 

 



Trends among Japanese automakers regarding clean diesel engines

 Reported below are the recent trends among seven Japanese automakers regarding clean diesel engines.

 

Mitsubishi: Low compression ratio (14.9), 2.2-liter clean diesel engine fitted in the Outlander for European markets

 In 2010, Mitsubishi Motors and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries jointly developed the 1.8-liter 4N13 diesel engine with the compression ratio lowered to 14.9. Combined with MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system) and compatible with Euro 5 standards, the engine is fitted in the crossover vehicle ASX (RVR in Japan) since May 2010.
 The 2.2-liter 4N14 diesel engine having the same compression ratio (14.9) as the 4N13 model has been developed and will be fitted in the new Outlander (SUV) to be released for sale in Europe in the summer of 2012. The amount of CO2 emission is targeted at 130g/km or less but the targeted regulatory level has not been announced.

Mitsubishi: Clean diesel engines to be used in Japan on the Delica D:5 minivan in 2013

 The 3.2-liter 4M41 diesel engine compatible with the P-NLT regulations has been used in Japan since September 2010 on the refreshed Pajero (SUV). The diesel models account for approximately 70 percent of the Pajero sold in 2011.
 Mitsubishi plans to use the 1800cc or 2200cc diesel engine on its leading minivan, Delica D:5, in the first half of 2013. The company plans to raise the environmental performances of the 4N13 and 4N14 diesel engines for European markets and also make them compliant with the P-NLT regulations in Japan. Diesel-powered minivans were available with Delica D:5's previous model, Delica Space Gear, but they were discontinued in October 2004. However, their continued support among their users and people's generally high interest in diesel engines, the company has decided to relaunch the DE vehicles.

Source: Mitsubishi Motors Press Releases 2010.9.2/2012.2.9, Technical Review No.22, Nikkan Kogyo Newspaper 2012.3.15

 

Subaru: Newly-developed boxer type DE fitted in the 2012 Legacy Tourer for Europe

 In February 2012, Subaru's European corporation announced that the 2012 Legacy Tourer (Legacy Touring Wagon in Japan) would use the newly-developed 2.0-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder DE. The new engine, based on the one that was introduced in 2008 as the world's first horizontally opposed DE, gives over 7 percent higher combined European fuel efficiency than the conventional engines.

Subaru: Launching diesel-fueled passenger cars in Japanese market in 2013 at the earliest

 Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru) plans to launch diesel-fueled passenger cars, most likely the new SUVs to be introduced in 2012 (XV, Forester, Outback), in Japanese markets in 2013 at the earliest. The company will lower the NOx emission of the horizontally-opposed DE developed for European markets so that the new model will comply with the P-NLT regulations in Japan as well.

Source: Response 2012.2.28, Nikkan Jidosha Newspaper 2012.1.10

 

Mazda: CX-5 fitted with the Skyactiv-D 2.2-liter DE launched in February 2012 in Japan

 In February 2012, Mazda released for sale the new SUV, CX-5, taking full advantage of the next-generation automotive technology called SKYACTIV. The SUV is available in two fuel versions, SKYACTIV G (gasoline engine) and SKYACTIV D (diesel engine) and the company expects that the DE cars will account for more than a half of the targeted annual sale (12,000 units). According to Mazda, DE cars account for 73% of the approximately 8,000 order promises within the first month of CX-5's market release.
 Mazda is operating under the policy of doubling the production of the DE cars from the quantity in 2010 to over 150,000 units in 2015. The company also plans to fit the SKYACTIV-D engine fitted in the CX-5 in its main midsize car, Atenza, and several other models for launch in Japan and North America as well as Europe. The diesel engines are currently produced in Japan exclusively.
 Mazda is selling the CX-7 and Premacy, fitted with its 2200cc DE, in European markets as of the end of 2011. The company plans to replace the engines with the SKYACTIV-D at the time of full or partial refreshing. The 1600cc DE is supplied by PSA.

Mazda: Developing 1.4-liter diesel engines

 Mazda is developing 1.4-liter small clean DE. The engines, produced internally by its own plant, will be fitted in compact cars for launch in Japan and overseas.
 At present, the European versions of the Mazda2 (Demio in Japan), Mazda3 (Axela), and Mazda5 (Premacy) are fitted with PSA's 1.6-liter DE. It is highly probable that those engines will be replaced with the newly-developed small displacement DE.

Source: Nikkan Kogyo Newspaper 2011.10.12, response 2012.2.15, Nikkan Jidosha Newspaper 2012.3.19

 

Nissan: Diesel-fueled X-Trail AT model a new option since July 2010 in the Japanese market

 Nissan, jointly with Renault, developed the M9R diesel engine that is fitted in the X-Trail and other models for European market since 2007. Nissan then developed a new M9R-based diesel engine using advanced engine control technology and lean NOx trap catalysts to further reduce NOx emissions. The new engines, compliant with the P-NLT regulations in Japan, are fitted in the diesel-fueled X-Trail MT models since September 2008.
 In July 2010, the diesel-fueled X-Trail AT model was added to the option list after a review of the control technologies. The available AT model is fitted with the newly-developed high-dispersion type lean NOx trap catalyst in which the amount of precious metal is halved from that in the conventional systems. The diesel version accounts for approximately 20 percent of the X-Trail sold in 2011.

Nissan: 1.6-liter diesel engines, co-developed by Renault, fitted in the Qashqai for European market

 The 1.6-liter DE, co-developed by Renault, is fitted in the Qashqai for European market since September 2011 (compliant with Euro 5 standards).

Source: Nissan Press Release 2010.7.8, Nissan Website "Technology: Clean Diesel"

 

Honda: Newly-developed 1.6-liter diesel engines to be fitted in the new Civic for European market scheduled for launch at the end of 2012

 Honda will add the newly-developed 1.6-liter DE to the engine list for the new Civic by the end of 2012 (the new Civic fitted with a 1.4/1.8-liter gasoline or 2.2-liter diesel engine is in the market since the beginning of 2012). The company plans to add the 1.6-liter DE to the list for the CR-V (SUV) and Accord (luxury sedan) at the time of switchover to new models that will take place from the fall of 2012 to 2013. The current DE models of the three makes are fitted with the 2200cc DE that was developed in 2006.
 Honda sold 159,000 vehicles in Europe in 2011, down 20 percent from the previous year, with the market share remaining low at approximately 1 percent. Diesel models accounted for 50 percent of all vehicle sales in Europe overall but no higher than 20 percent in Honda's sales there primarily because the company did not have compact DE. Honda hopes to refresh the diesel engine family of its three major makes with the newly-developed 1.6-liter DE and raise the diesel version count to around 40 percent.

Honda: Introducing diesel-fueled CR-V in the Japanese market in 2013 at the earliest

 Honda reportedly is planning to launch the CR-V fitted with the newly-developed 1.6-liter DE (mentioned above) in the Japanese market as well. It appears the CR-V will be introduced first in Europe and India and then in Japan in 2013 at the earliest after compliance with the P-NLT regulations is accomplished.

Source: Honda Press Releases 2011.9.13/2011.11.30, Nikkei Sangyo Newspaper 2012.3.19, Nikkan Jidosha Newspaper 2012.4.5, Automotive Technology 2012.3, Motor Fan illustrated 2012.2

 

Toyota: Procuring 1.6/2.0-liter diesel engines from BMW for its European models starting in 2014

 An agreement was reached in December 2011 for Toyota to receive supply of 1.6/2.0-liter DE from BMW. The engines will be fitted in the vehicles slated for market release in Europe starting in 2014 (such as the Auris produced in the UK and the Corolla produced in Turkey). Toyota sold approximately 800,000 vehicles in Europe in 2011 with a market share of around 4 percent. The company must have 1.6/2.0-liter class DEs that are much in demand in Europe if it is to increase its sales there. But the company decided it would be better off receiving the engine supply from BMW rather than developing their own since the company was focusing its resources on the research and development of hybrid vehicles and the next-generation fuel cell vehicles.
 Among Toyota vehicles currently sold in Europe, the B-segment model, Yaris (Vitz in Japan), is fitted with the internally-developed 1.4-liter DE and the C-segment models such as Auris, Verso, and Avensis with the internally-developed 2.0/2.2-liter DE.

Source: Toyota Press Release 2011.12.1, Nikkei Sangyo Newspaper 2012.3.19, Nikkan Jidosha Newspaper 2011.12.6

 

Suzuki: Buying 1.6/1.3-liter diesel engines from Fiat

 An agreement was reached in June 2011 for Suzuki to receive supply of Fiat's 1.6-liter MultiJet II DE for Suzuki's new SX4. The current SX4 models are fitted with Fiat's 2.0-liter MultiJet DE but the 1.6-liter DE will be used on the new SX4 to be produced at Magyar Suzuki plant in Hungary starting in 2013.
 Suzuki has been producing Fiat's 1.3-liter MultiJet DE under licensing at Suzuki's engine manufacturing subsidiary company in India. The diesel engines produced with the annual quantity of about 200,000 units are fitted in the vehicles sold in India and exported to Magyar Suzuki in Hungary to be fitted in the Swift for European markets.

Source: Fiat Press Releases 2012.1.18/2011.6.27, Nikkei Sangyo Newspaper 2012.3.19

 



European automakers launching clean diesel cars in Japanese markets

 Reported below are the trends among European automakers, Renault, BMW, and Daimler, launching clean diesel cars in Japanese markets.

Renault: Launching diesel engine cars in Japan in 2013, fitting DEs in its small car Lutecia

 Renault disclosed a policy to introduce DE cars in Japan in 2013 if all goes as planned (announced in December 2011). Renault will fit a 1.6-liter DE in the next-generation model of the small car Lutecia (Clio in Europe). The company plans to make diesel models available with the Kangoo minivan and the small car Megane as well. By launching the diesel models, Renault aspires to become the second largest name after VW in the imported car market in Japan other than luxury cars.

Source: Nihon Keizai Newspaper 2011.12.4

 

BMW: Diesel-fueled X5 launched in Japan in January 2012, increasing diesel model lineup before the year end

 BMW launched the DE model of the X5 SUV in January 2012 marking its first DE car launch in Japan. According to the announcement made on April 12, 2012, the diesel model accounts for 70 percent of the X5 sold after the diesel model launch. BMW plans to launch three more diesel models within 2012 that will most likely include the 3 Series and the MINI small car brand models.

Source: BMW Japan Press Release 2012.1.18, Nikkei Sangyo Newspaper 2012.3.22/2012.4.14

 

Daimler: Increasing the number of DE makes in Japanese market to 8 or 9 models by 2015-16

 Daimler will increase the number of DE makes sold in Japan from 3 models to 8 or 9 models in three to four years from 2012. The company is considering to launch diesel versions of the new SUV in 2012, followed by the C-Class and the highest-end S-Class models as well. Diesel models only account for around 5 percent of Daimler's vehicle sales and the company hopes to increase the percentage to more than 10 percent by increasing the model lineup.
 Daimler currently has diesel versions available with three makes under two models. The diesel engines compliant with the P-NLT regulations are fitted in the E-Class sedans and station wagons since February 2010 and in the M-Class SUV since May of the same year. The company plans to fit the newly-developed DE in the M-Class models at the time of total refreshing planned for the summer of 2012.

Source: Mercedes-Benz Japan Press Releases 2010.2.24/2010.5.31, Nikkei Sangyo Newspaper  2012.1.10

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