European car registrations fall sharply in April; diesels particularly hit

European car registrations fell by 7.1% year-on-year in April, with an even sharper decline in diesel registrations.

Registrations of new diesel engines in Europe declined by 15% last month compared with April 2016, according to research by market analysts JATO Dynamics. That suggests continuing concerns from buyers over the environmental impact of diesel engines, and the continuing fall-out from Dieselgate.

Insight: is it time to give up on the diesel engine?

The decline in diesel registrations mean that the fuel has lost its dominance of the European market, accounting for 46% of the market compared with 50% in April 2016.

In total, 1.22 million cars were registered in Europe in April 2017. The 7.1% year-on-year drop was the largest monthly decline since March 2013. In contrast, overall registrations rose 10.8% year-on-year in March, totalling 1.98 million units.

The fall in registrations was particularly sharp in ‘traditional’ car segments: registrations of compact cars fell 11.9% year-on-year, with MPV registrations dropping 21.3%. By contrast, the SUV sector continued to grow, with registrations rising 7.2%.

In the UK, total registrations dropped to 152,076 in April, a decline of 19.8%, suggesting the impact of new VED rates introduced at the start of the month.

Volkswagen remains the most popular car brand in Europe, with 136,475 registrations, although this was a year-on-year decline of 13.9%. The Volkswagen Golf was Europe’s best-selling car in April, regaining the spot it had held for seven years before being overtaken by the Ford Fiesta in March. The Renault Clio was the second best-selling car, ahead of the Volkswagen Polo and Volkswagen Tiguan. The Fiesta dropped to eighth.

Read more

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The most popular cars in Europe - by country

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Comments
17

24 May 2017
I was in a new car dealers at the weekend and the salesman told me about a recent experience with a customer. They had an older diesel which they swapped for a petrol simply because of all the anti diesel hype. The customer tows a carsvan. Lo and behold 6 months later they are back buying a diesel - the petrol engine was simply not upto the job and in comparison with the disiesel had very poor economy. Hey ho.

TS7

24 May 2017
adrian888 wrote:

I was in a new car dealers at the weekend and the salesman told me about a recent experience with a customer. They had an older diesel which they swapped for a petrol simply because of all the anti diesel hype. The customer tows a carsvan. Lo and behold 6 months later they are back buying a diesel - the petrol engine was simply not upto the job and in comparison with the disiesel had very poor economy. Hey ho.

One problem said customer might well have experienced is the current trend for downsized petrol turbo engines. One wonders how a creamy smooth 3.0L 6 would've coped with a mobile chicane attached to the rear of the car. Also, it should be possible to tune a mild hybrid to give good initial pulling power, given how electic motors deliver max torque at zero revs.

24 May 2017
Not really surprising is it after the VW Group's problems with diesel emissions in the US,you have to think that with the improved fuel economy of the latest generation of petrol engines.do you need a diesel? Unlike say the motorist in the the previous comment who towed a caravan is the extra torque offered by a diesel plus the rumoured scrappage scheme for old diesels could well negatively affect the residual values of current models as well

24 May 2017
To put matters in context diesel still gets preferential taxes and duties all over Europe. While diesel suits a few drivers, nothing changes the fact that the majority have been duped into choose diesel over petrol because of tax benefits particularly company and fleet buyers and also the car makers pushing diesels in order to beat the unrealistic co2 targets.

24 May 2017
Own a diesel car? Sell it before it becomes worthless.

24 May 2017
Disagree with last three comments. @IanP55 - yes some of us still do need a diesel and real world figures for the petrols aren't all that. @Fadyady - I haven't been duped by lower company car taxes. My car is privately purchased but I simply do a lot of miles so need the MPG. @Max1e6 - not sure my car in particular will lose almost all its value anytime soon....not that I am going to sell it anyway. I really like my car and the more people bitch on about diesel the more reticent I am to selling it and instead keeping it for the long term. Stubborn, yes...but it is the perfect car based on the distance I travel every year.

24 May 2017
AddyT, how effective is your car's DPF at filtering the diesel exhaust pollution?!

That is the next scandal - diesel particulate filters that don't filter diesel particulates properly all the time.

25 May 2017
max1e6 wrote:

AddyT, how effective is your car's DPF at filtering the diesel exhaust pollution?!

That is the next scandal - diesel particulate filters that don't filter diesel particulates properly all the time.

A combination of DPF, SCR and LNTs will keep your gasses as clean as a whistle, DPFs don't exist in your car alone. I don't think this is a "scandal".

Unnecessary interrobangs, unsubstantiated claims and use of the word "scandal" are on my list of things to outlaw when the revolution comes.

Just for reference, I would be interested in seeing the evidence, ya know, 'coz checking sources is important.

24 May 2017
I seem to recall UK business have ot had 100% tax releif on hybrid or EV purchases...... most hybrids and hardly sny EV's are not type approved for towing and those which are, are limited in weight, unless you go for something like a Rsnge Rover hybrid. I have driven diesel for 30 years at 20k+ miles annually, in recent years also towing about 4k miles each year. When i can buy a used petrol engined car or hybrid for £12k that will tow 1.8tonne caravan and give a real world 45mpg solo i might consider one...... not everyone can affird a new car.

24 May 2017
DPF do not work, if they do work they quickly become clogged and therefore not working.. regeneration helps but still produces ash and belched into the air. No one can deny that diesel is dirty no matter how it is dressed up !

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