German dealer lobby warns of 10-20% used and new diesel price declines

February 27, 2017

A German dealer association has warned that both new and used diesel car prices have fallen 10-20%, due to discussions about diesel driving bans, and has criticised the bans as ‘more ineffective actionism than improving air quality.’ 

The calls for diesel car restrictions, particularly in inner city areas, have made consumers insecure about diesel cars, according to the Federal Association of Free Car Dealers’ Managing Director Ansgar Klein. 

His organisation represents 900 German car dealers. He said: ‘We are assuming prices are currently down 10-20%.’ This is true both for new and used diesel cars, despite vast improvements in emissions in newer diesels. 

He complains that the negative political discussions on diesel car emissions, and the resulting policy initiatives, are more about political positioning than improving air quality for the benefit of public health. 

Stuttgart has said it will ban diesel vehicles that do not meet the latest Euro 6 emissions standards on days when pollution is heavy from next year. Only around 10% of current diesels in Germany currently conform to this standard. Other German cities are likely to follow, due to Germany breaking EU legal air pollution limits, with conclusions drawn in courts in Düsseldorf and Munich suggesting that there are few alternatives to diesel bans in order for Germany to conform to EU law. 

He said: ‘The current information situation is having a significant impact on the diesel market.’ 

His claims are supported by market analysis from industry institute CAR, which found that demand for diesel cars dropped to 44% of the market by October 2016 compared to almost 50% by the end of 2015. Its forecasts show that by 2018, diesels will account for only 40% of new car sales. 

UBS predicts that diesel sales will crash from 50% of the market to just 10% in Europe within the next 10 years, and ‘almost disappear’ globally. 

European and world cities become increasingly hostile to diesel vehicles, with Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City pledging to ban diesel vehicles from 2025. Paris is also planning to restrict diesels with its Disque Vert and Crit’Air eco disc systems, and London is introducing a daily £10 (€11.80) ‘toxicity charge for the most polluting diesels. 

Klein warns of extensive economic damage not only to the car trade, but also to traders who depend on their cars, if the negative publicity around diesels continues. He is vehemently against the diesel restriction measures proposed in Stuttgart – symbolic as the home of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. 

He hopes for an end to such diesel discussions, which he believes will allow the diesel market to normalise again. 

Expected residual values for European markets are discussed in Autovista Intelligence's Residual Value Outlook 2017 report.

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