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FCA phasing out European diesels, refocusing on global electrification

The automaker will sell its last diesel passenger car in 2021, shifting its focus to hybrids and EVs over the next five years.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) boss Sergio Marchionne announced a fairly ambitious plan to completely remove diesel models from its entire European portfolio over the next three years. In their place, FCA will refocus on hybrids and EV is part of a 9 billion euro investment in electrification and hybridization over the next five years.

A string of emission cheating controversies involving FCA, Mercedes and, most notably, Volkswagen have conspired to make diesel something of a four-letter word as regulatory bodies become ever more stringent about emissions and testing. Diesel sales are down, despite the per-mile economy advantage over gasoline. The writing's been on the wall for sometime.

CEO Sergio Marchionne states that FCA will sell its last diesel passenger vehicle in Europe in 2021 alongside a five-year plan to bring more hybrids and EVs to the global market. By 2022, FCA is targeting 60 percent of its European sales to be electrified cars. The automaker will, however, continue to produce diesel trucks and commercial vehicles.

Of course, over here in the US, FCA has only recently announced diesel versions of the 2019 Ram 1500 and Jeep Wrangler and will debut a new heavy duty pickup in 2019 with the "strongest diesel in the marketplace." True, these fall under the "trucks" heading, but it does appear that the North American market is on a slightly different schedule.

Over the next five years, FCA brands will debut 25 hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles across the Fiat, Jeep, Ram, Alfa Romeo and Maserati lines, according to my count. Additionally, the group is developing eight battery-electric cars, including four Jeep models, two electric 500s, the 700 horsepower Alfa Romeo 8C revival and Maserati's upcoming Alfieri EV flagship.