Volvo ending diesel car production, and ‘hiding’ the petrol options

Published Sep 20, 2023


The writing has been on the wall for quite some time now, but Volvo has now officially confirmed that it will be ending production of all remaining diesel models internationally by early 2024.

"In a few months from now, the last diesel-powered Volvo car will have been built, making Volvo Cars one of the first legacy car makers to take this step," the Swedish company said in a statement.

The Swedish carmaker has committed to going fully electric by 2030.

Diesel was once the lifeblood of Volvo’s powertrain range, accounting for the majority of its cars sold in Europe as recently as 2019. However in 2022 they made up just 8.9% of the carmaker's sales.

Volvo has already discontinued all of its diesel models in South Africa. This started with the updated XC60 midsize SUV in 2022 which arrived without any oil burning options for the first time. The diesel options were also quietly removed from the XC90 line-up thereafter.

Currently Volvo only sells electric, plug-in hybrid and mild-hybrid petrol models in South Africa, and interestingly the mild hybrid options are almost completely hidden on the local website, with users having to click on a small “Our Cars” icon on the top right hand corner to access information on the full range.

Internationally, 33% of Volvo's sales were fully-electric or hybrid models in the most recent sales month. The company did not mention how many of the remaining 67% combustion-engined models were diesel and how many ran on petrol.

Sales of diesel-powered vehicles have declined rapidly in Europe since Volkswagen's emission-cheating scandal of 2015 and carmakers have been gradually reducing the number of diesel models available in their model line-ups.

Diesel vehicles comprised more than 50% of Europe's new car sales in 2015, but accounted for just over 14% of sales in July.

IOL & Reuters