Diverging sales trends widen diesel divide in Europe

October 06, 2016

Diesel’s share of the new car market is rising in some countries as demand is affected by a range of economic and legislative factors. Across Europe, the share of diesel has been falling steadily for several years, but individual countries paint a much more varied picture. In the UK, diesel sales in September rose by 2.8% compared to September 2015, while petrol declined 1.1%. As a result, diesel’s market share increased 0.6 percentage points to 46.5%, while petrol fell 1.3 percentage points to 50.1%. In Spain, diesel’s share of the new car market has risen from 55.2% to 57.6% between June and September. This contrasts with countries such as France, where diesel’s share has declined steadily over the same period to just over 51% in September, and Norway whose diesel share in September declined to 27.7% from 39.9% last year. Both countries are taking steps to discourage diesel. Diesel’s rise in the UK and Spain can be attributed to several factors, particularly a decline in demand in the retail market and increasing corporate registrations. Businesses tend to purchase diesel either for fuel economy benefits or because drivers incur lower taxes, whereas a greater proportion of consumers will opt for petrol. Secondly, particularly in Spain, demand for SUVs has been rising strongly and these tend to be diesel-powered. Different national environments, which can include factors ranging from fuel costs to economic conditions, will cause an increasing divergence in diesel used car values in the EU. Analysis in the Diesel Intelligence report from Autovista Intelligence found that diesel values are strongest in the Spanish market because of the economic recovery and restricted used car market supply, particularly for SUVs, while in the UK diesel values are declining due to the level of oversupply, particularly in volume B, C and D segments. Diesel market trends are analysed in more detail in the Diesel Intelligence report. For more details email insights@autovistaintelligence.com.

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