Suzuki Jimny axed from Europe over emissions regulations
Tightening emissions rules mean the Suzuki Jimny will be pulled from the European market in the coming months
The Japanese manufacturer has stated that UK dealer supply will cease in the coming months, citing more stringent EU emissions regulations as the SUV’s cause of death.
Earlier this year, Suzuki said the Jimny would remain on sale in “very limited numbers” during 2020 and that the car would be pulled from the market in 2021. However, this date has been pulled forward, following the EU ruling that all car makers must ensure their vehicles emit no more than 95g/km of CO2, as an average across their fleet.
Exemptions exist for low-volume manufacturers and there are concessions such as super credits, which reward brands for selling pure electric cars. Car makers that produce heavier vehicles are also allowed to have higher fleet average emissions than those that produce light cars.
As a manufacturer of small cars and with no pure electric vehicles in its portfolio, Suzuki has few immediate options other than to cull the Jimny.
The Jimny’s relatively high CO2 emissions of between 154 and 170g/km, coupled with its low mass of 1,135kg, mean it's the latest car to fall foul of the regulations. This trend is one that also threatens Europe’s small-car market as a whole. The future of city cars looks increasingly shaky as firms struggle to balance high emissions and low kerb weights against the disproportionately expensive development costs and low profit margins of small cars.
And while the Suzuki Swift Sport, Vitara and S-Cross are set to come with mild hybrid systems as standard, the Jimny has only ever been available with a relatively simple non-turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine – a type of powerplant that does not typically fare well during emissions testing.
Suzuki says it "will make every effort to ensure delivery to its customers who have already placed an order." However, the company also explained: "At launch in late 2018, Suzuki announced that the higher CO2 emissions levels of this model would adversely affect its whole range CO2 average in Europe after 2020."
In recent months, Jimny customers have typically been added to a waiting list rather than placing deposits, with dealers allocating cars to customers only when vehicles were delivered.
Suzuki previously told Auto Express the UK’s annual allocation of 1,200 Jimnys was far lower than demand, while its factory in Japan was at maximum capacity.
For those desperate to own a Jimny, though, one glimmer of hope remains. The Jimny may return in an “N1” commercial form at a later date, though Suzuki was unable to confirm whether this would come to the UK. The commercial variant will come with even fewer creature comforts than the standard car.
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