Although 50 per cent of Europe's car market is now taken by diesel vehicles, only 13 per cent of Toyota engines are oilburners – a marketing anomaly which TMC has pledged to make good as part of achieving its long term aim of taking five per cent of the European market.
Interviewed in Eurobusiness magazine, Tomita says that Toyota's home-market preferences have been at the core of the carmaker's diesel troubles. “In Europe almost 50 per cent of the market is taken up by diesel engines, but in Japan diesels are considered very bad because they emit black smoke,” he says. Toyota's new D-CAT diesel engine will not only deliver the increased market penetration in the European theatre, but also help boost diesel demand in Japan.
Toyota's diesel expansion plans centre on the October announcement of a £112m engine plant at Wroclaw in south west Poland. Engine production is scheduled to begin at the start of 2005. The forecast production there of 120,000 diesel engines per year will are earmarked for Corolla and Avensis models.