Diesel sales are as strong as ever in Europe, for now… image

More than half of all new cars sold in Europe are powered by diesel engines as demand is still high for this segment, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said.

The VW scandal could have a major impact in the long-term and may cause the diesel market share to decline to as low as 35 percent of all cars sold in Europe by 2022, according to industry consultant LMC Automotive. But for now, this segment is as strong as it can be in Europe: “It is very difficult for us to give numbers on how much it will decline and in which countries and which categories, but I would say that today is about the maximum we can expect for diesels in Europe”, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn recently stated.

He also declared that sales of smaller diesel powered cars were going downhill even before VW’s confession: “We already saw some backlash against the diesel before this. So with this it is accelerating”. According to Ghosn, the rigorous emissions standards have forced auto manufactures to raise their production costs and therefore the cars got more expensive for customers and the future of diesel cars will depend on the introduction of the real-world emissions standards in Europe. Renault-Nissan CEO also believes that all the bad talk about diesels will influence in a negative way the technology in other parts of the world, including the U.S. and Japan: “This scandal will not make diesel more popular in the United States or in Japan”. In those markets diesel share is no more than 5 percent. Peugeot-Citroen and Volkswagen said that they intend to increase that low demand by launching clean diesel models in Japan from 2016. The European Commission agreed to lax the standards to allow automakers to easily pass the real-driving emissions tests, but it might prove challenging for them to conform in such a short period.

Via Automotive News Europe

By Sorin Petcu