European buyers are slowly starting to shift their attention from diesel-powered cars, following Volkswagen’s emissions scandal.
This technology has been highly appreciated by European buyers in recent years, with diesel-powered cars accounting for more than 50 percent of the overall new-car market. Diesels have always been promoted as a friendlier alternative for the environment, as they are more fuel efficient than gasoline engines, thus emitting less CO2. However, customers have started to be reluctant in the wake of Volkswagen’s dieselagte and, even if this is not a major shift in perception, the trend is promising. According to figures gathered by LMC Automotive, diesel’s shares dropped under 50 percent on the western European market in April. To be more precise, in the first four months of his year, diesel’s share fell by 2.2 percent to 50.1 percent and by 3.1 percent to 49,7 percent in April.
This decline may be also related to the government’s increasing efforts to boost the sales of electrified-vehicles by giving more incentives. As an example, Germany finally agreed on a plan to spur the demand for battery-powered cars. However, this help is not seen as sufficient by LMC Automotive to create a boom in the electrified sector, even though it could result in an expansion by three times of the plug‐in market. As for diesels’ downward path, the sharpest fall was in the subcompact, compact hatchback and small minivan segments, LMC said. Even the large and executive sedans market, where diesels account for more than 80 percent, was not immune and showed a small decrease. LMC predicts that diesels will slowly but steadily keep losing market share in the coming years.