GENEVA -- Toyota will stop selling diesel-powered passenger cars in Europe by the end of this year, Toyota Europe CEO Johan van Zyl said.
Diesels account for less than 10 percent of the automaker's car sales in Europe, van Zyl said at an event on the eve of the auto show here.
Toyota, however, will continue to offer diesels versions of its Land Cruiser large SUV, Hilux pickup truck and Proace light commercial vehicles because some customers want the higher torque offered by diesels, the automaker said in a release.
Toyota has been moving to phase diesels out of its European lineup for years while aggressively pushing its gasoline-electric hybrids, which now account for more than 40 percent of the company's sales in the region.
In 2016, Toyota introduced its C-HR compact SUV without a diesel variant. Hybrids now account for nearly 80 percent of the C-HR's European sales.
In January, Toyota's Italian arm said it would no longer offer diesel versions of the new cars it sells in the country.
The latest move against the diesel was Toyota's decision not to offer the powertrain in its new third-generation Auris compact, which debuted in Geneva Tuesday.
The Auris will be offered with a choice of two hybrids as well as a gasoline engine. The top-performing hybrid Auris will have a 2.0-liter engine that makes 180 hp. The less powerful hybrid has a 1.8-liter, 122 hp powertrain.
Toyota is counting on its expanding hybrid lineup to help it comply with tougher European emissions rules. By 2021, the fleet CO2 average for automakers in Europe drops 95 grams per kilometer from 118.1g/km now. Companies that don't reach the target will be hit with fines.
In 2016, Toyota's fleet average was 105.4g/km. The 2017 result was 101.2g/km, according to market researcher JATO Dynamics.
"The more hybrids we sell, the better our chances" of reaching the target, Toyota Europe Chairman Didier Leroy said.
The executive added that while automakers such as Volvo will rely heavily on 48-volt mild hybrids in the future, Toyota considers mild hybrids to be inferior to the full hybrids it offers.
"For us, mild hybrids wouldn't be a step forward," Leroy said. When asked about plug-in hybrids, Leroy was also skeptical because he said the requirement to recharge them is a disadvantage, and when they are not recharged their environmental benefit is nullified.