Sales of Diesel Cars In Europe Slightly Decline This Year, Study Shows

Volkswagen 2.0-liter TDI engine 1 photo
Photo: Volkswagen
LMC Automotive has published a market analysis by following sales results for diesel cars in Europe. Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal erupted last fall, and did not significantly affect sales of diesel-engined vehicles in Europe. However, things have changed at the beginning of this year, researchers say.
For the first time in the last few years, sales of diesel vehicles have dropped below 50% of the market. In Western Europe, for example, new car buyers preferred gasoline engines or hybrids, as the market share of diesel-engined vehicles dropped 2.2 percent in the first four months of the year. Just last month, the market share for diesel engines fell to 49.7 percent, a decline of 3.1 percent.

The new car market in Western Europe reached 4.87 million units in the first four months of this year, which marks a 7.7 increase over the same period of the previous year.

In the month of April 2016 alone, deliveries grew by eight percent. So the decline in diesel-engined cars in some categories is an actual result, and not a cause of a shrinking market.

As the researchers mentioned, the most significant declines for diesel vehicles happened in the compact segment and the subcompact segment, both leading the sales charts in Europe. Instead, sales of diesel-engined large sedans and A-segment cars remained mostly unchanged when compared to the same period of 2015.

As Automotive News reports, diesel engines are not seen as well as they used to be after the Dieselgate scandal. Negative publicity for this type of engine has been circling in the past few months, as several automakers were inspected by authorities to check for any wrongdoing.

At the same time, the European Union plans stricter emission regulations, and diesel vehicles might be the next to be significantly sanctioned. Over the years, the low CO2 emissions of these units made them favorable in legislation, but their Nitrogen Oxide emissions, as well as particulates, are making diesel engines undesirable again.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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