Suzuki Jimny could be removed from sale due to emission regulations

EU requirements that car makers must reduce fleet average CO2 emissions to 95g/km mean Suzuki is likely to pull Jimny from Europe after 2020

The Suzuki Jimny SUV looks set to be withdrawn from sale in Europe after this year, as tough emission targets and regulations mean its relatively high carbon dioxide (CO2) output no longer make it viable for Suzuki to sell.

Suzuki said the Jimny would remain on sale in the UK in “very liimited nymbers throughout 2020”. The firm “will make every effort to ensure delivery to its customers who have already placed an order”, but added: “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.” Reports indicate the Jimny may return as a commercial vehicle at a later date, though.

From this year, car makers must begin to ensure that all the new cars they sell emit no more, on average, than 95g/km (grams per kilometre) of CO2. 

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Exemptions for low-volume manufacturers and concessions such as super credits (which reward makers for selling pure electric cars) exist to help make that target more achievable, but car makers that produce heavier vehicles are allowed to have higher fleet average emissions than those that produce light cars. As a manufacturer of small cars and with no electric vehicle in its portfolio, Suzuki is therefore badly placed when it comes to CO2 targets. 

The Jimny’s relatively high CO2 emissions of between 154 and 170g/km, coupled with its low mass of 1,135kg mean it looks to be the latest car to fall victim to the regulations. This trend is one that also threatens Europe’s small-car market as a whole, with the future of city cars looking 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 other models in Suzuki’s range are offered with CO2-reducing mild hybrid systems this is not the case with the Jimny, which comes with a relatively simple non-turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine – a type of powerplant that does not typically fare well during emissions testing.

The Suzuki Jimny has been one of the cars of the moment recently, with it’s junior Mercedes G-Wagen looks, impressive off-road credentials and low list price making it an in-demand model – to the extent that car buyers have experienced difficulty in securing one. 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 one glimmer of hope remains, though: its rumoured return as a commercial vehicle means it will not disappear entirely from European shores – though with even fewer creature comforts than the civilian version, the commercial Jimny may prove too compromised for many buyers to stomach.

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