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Vauxhall axes Astra diesel due to dwindling demand

The new Vauxhall Astra

Vauxhall has axed the diesel-powered Astra hatchback from its model range due to dwindling demand.

The move comes just weeks after the French carmaker’s owner, Stellantis, made a u-turn on its decision to make its Citroen e-Berlingo electric following “popular demand” for petrol and diesel propelled versions of the MPV.

In a statement supplied to Autocar, Vauxhall said: “Vauxhall is moving to being an electric-only brand by 2028 and has already streamlined its powertrain offering to focus on electrified variants.

“Diesel represented 6% of the C-hatch market in 2022. Astra and Astra Sports Tourer remain available in petrol, plug-in hybrid and will shortly launch a fully electric variant.”

Less than 250 diesel-powered Astras were sold in the UK during 2022 and a new zero-emissions version of the latest generation Astra - reviewed by AM last summer - has now been launched.

The new Astra Electric uses a 54kWh battery and promises a WLTP range of 258 miles per charge. A single electric motor powers the car, producing 156PS. Vauxhall says the car can achieve an 80% charge in 30 minutes, using a 100kW rapid charger.

Vauxhall has also boosted its range of plug-in hybrid powertrains, with the recent introduction of the Astra GSe. It joins the existing Astra Hybrid, with both models attracting an 8% benefit-in-kind tax rate.

Stellantis has indicated that all existing orders for diesel Astras will be fulfilled.

In the first quarter of 2023, registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show diesel car sales made up just 8.3% of the market.

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