Global diesel sales will struggle to recover if fleet buyers follow private buyers in deserting the fuel, according to Citroën CEO Linda Jackson.
Highlighting that 75% of sales of the Citroën C3 Aircross, which went on sale in Europe in October, had been petrol-powered variants, Jackson said: “The signs are that private buyers are predominantly favouring petrol. Whether that can be turned around with a clearer explanation of the facts remains to be seen.
“But if the fleet buyers who currently appear to be holding off buying opt to make the switch to petrol then it will be hard for diesel to recover. Something very dramatic is going to happen now for diesel to regain any kind of market share.”
Diesel sales in the UK fell 17% in 2017, with the drop-off accelerating dramatically in the second half of the year.
Jackson added that electric cars still have to prove their viability in the long term too. “I’m sure they are part of the solution, but there are still questions to answer, from who creates and pays for the infrastructure to the sustainability of lithium ion supplies to the cleanliness of how the electricity is created,” she said.