CHINA’S budget-priced SUV manufacturer, Haval, has committed to a line-up exclusively made up of turbocharged petrol engines.
“Our engineers made a clear case they believe the development of diesel engines has reached its zenith,” said Haval Motors Australia Chief Marketing Officer, Tim Smith. “And the era of smaller, more fuel efficient petrol engines and powerful hybrid and electric engines was upon us.”
Haval plans to complement its range of turbo-petrol engines with a mix of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains.
The reason for this “diesel-free” future appears to be environmentally driven, with a recent Australian delegation to Haval’s head office raising questions about diesel fuel.
“Ultimately the future of that fuel (diesel) has been decided by the market, the actions of other companies and a growing push for more stringent clean air policies,” Smith said.
“We have already seen reactions from markets like India, where the sales of vehicles powered by diesel engines greater than two litres in capacity have been banned since December last year.”
With keen Aussie off-roaders preferring diesel power, it’ll be interesting to see how well the move to petrol power is received.
In addition to the dismissal of the diesel donk, Haval will also ditch its manual transmission.
The brand has adopted a policy that will see every future turbo-petrol engine mated to an automatic transmission.
“Australia has one of the highest proportions of automatic ownership so this is a welcome move for Australian customers,” Smith said.