Diesel Sales In Europe Slide In 2017, And Dive In December.
“gasoline cars and SUVs sales benefitted from the decline of diesel, growing by 760,000”
Sales of diesel-powered cars and SUVs in Europe sagged by nearly 8% in 2017 to 43.7%, the lowest in 8 years, and the slide gained pace in December as the threat of penal taxation, city driving bans and damaged second-hand values undermined buyers’ confidence, according to a report from JATO Dynamics Ltd of Britain.
The report, which said overall sales growth in Europe slowed to 3.1% in 2017 to 15.57 million, down from a 6.5% increase the previous year, also reported SUV sales rocketing ahead by nearly 20% to 4.56 million. SUV sales, led by the Nissan Qashqai with 248,000, are now the biggest sector with 29%, ahead of subcompact sedans at 21%.
Diesel sales fell 7.9% in 2017 and dived 20.5% in December, suggesting that the decline is gathering momentum.
Diesel sales peaked at 55.5% in Europe, in 2011, Automotive Industry Data said.
Diesel sales have traditionally been much higher in Europe than in the U.S., because the around 30% advantage in fuel economy is very important with fuel taxes rising to as much as 70% in some countries. Since 2000, many European governments actively sought more diesel sales with lower tax at the pump and other incentives, because their fuel economy and therefore lower CO2 emissions was said to be less harmful to the climate. But recent studies have shown emissions from diesel cars can be deadly in city centres, so governments are trying to reverse this policy.
Automotive industry data provider JATO said gasoline cars and SUVs sales benefitted from the decline of diesel, growing by 760,000.
Consumer confidence in diesel engines has been under fire since the Volkswagen’s dieselgate scandal erupted a couple of years ago. Since then European Union lawmakers have been seeking to make sure clean air rules for diesels are harsher, while some politicians in cities across Europe have been trying to use the legal system to make it impossible for some diesel powered cars to enter urban areas.
On February 22, a German court will decide whether driving bans can be imposed by cities on diesel powered vehicles.
The German luxury sector including BMW, Mercedes and Audi is most threatened by the diesel’s demise, accounting for a big majority of its sales and profits
The Volkswagen Golf family sedan was the biggest selling vehicle in 2017, with sales of 480,000, with the Renault Clio city car second at 327,000.
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