Despite the decline in overall diesel sales in 2017, Honda UK boss David Hodgetts considers the new model important for the company
Simon Davis
29 January 2018

The new Honda Civic diesel will be an important car for the British market despite the sharp decline in overall diesel car sales in 2017, Honda UK boss David Hodgetts has said.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) revealed that diesel car sales fell by 17.1% last year, down to 1,065,879 units from 1,285,188 in 2016.

The SMMT has attributed this decline to “anti-diesel messages” from the Government.

However, Hodgetts has said that diesel is still expected to make up close to 40% of all Civic sales in the UK, even though consumers have shied away from the fuel.

“We’ve really done well with the petrol Civic and, to be fair, we’ve really taken some ex-diesel customers back across to petrol,” he said.

“But there’s still a market for diesel, so the Civic diesel will really help us get overall Civic sales up.

“We will aim roughly for that sector average, which is not far short of 40% of diesel. That means going slightly more to the corporate sector than it does for our petrol mix. 

“But we’ve done pretty well this year with both retail and corporate, and our overall sales have held up pretty well, despite the issue with diesel."

Referring to the “anti-diesel” messages from the Government, Hodgetts said there was a need for the discussion to be “based on the facts”.

He explained: “We need to balance the debate about the overall situation. As we know, diesels are particularly good for certain driving environments and long-distance drivers, while petrol may well be better in some urban environments.

“There's a place for diesel, and it’s proven to be the least CO2-emitting technology by some way.

“You can only bring on electrified technology at a certain pace, and the bigger thing to me is not just our ability to engineer those solutions, but to give solutions that customers can actually afford to buy.”

Honda still hopes that hydrogen will be the “ultimate solution”, although Hodgetts admits that there’s a great deal of work yet to be done to bring hydrogen vehicles to the fore.

He said: “It’s a complete catch-22: the cost of the technology with the very small volumes is so high that there aren't many cars being produced. The manufacturers may say that there’s no hydrogen infrastructure, but who’s going to introduce that infrastructure if it isn’t the automotive sector?

“I think that Honda had the correct vision 10 to 15 years ago to start developing the technology. It’s very expensive and it’s not going to be quick to get it to a commercially viable product range, but we still feel that as an ideal solution, hydrogen is the endgame.”

Read more 

Honda Civic review 

Honda Civic diesel review 

Honda Civic Type R review 

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Comments
14

29 January 2018

...German car manufacturers have been conducting diesel gas fume experiments on humans  and monkeys.

 

As if cheating emissions tests globally on an epic scale was not enough.

Steam cars are due a revival.

29 January 2018

“The least CO2 emitting technology by some way.”

Cough, ahem, electric...

30 January 2018
scrap wrote:

Scrap:

“The least CO2 emitting technology by some way.”

Cough, ahem, electric...

...cough, cough, splutter, unless the electricities to power your EV are made by 100% renewable sources, Scrap, the CO2 emission profile isn't too rosy. And you lose a heap of efficiency down the cables to your power socket.

EVs make complete sense in urban areas, but just because you can't see the pollution from the electricity production doesn't mean it's not there, or even worse than any kind of ICE.

29 January 2018

Yes diesel sales may have fallen somewhat, but sales have not dropped off a cliff like the scaremongering by the gutter press suggest or the economy-hating eco-warriors long for. Many of us will keep on rolling coal for many years to come! 

 

No doubt the Elon fans will be along to say that unprofitable cars from Tesla are the answer to our problems. 

29 January 2018

It's not a "scaremongering" tactic. It's a fact. A reality that many thinkers like you refuse to accept. Virtually EVERY auto manufacture is investing in electrification and that's were the industry is going whether if you have a coal furnace or not. Honda put their investment in the wrong engine for this car in the UK market and this article is an attempt to justify their mistake. I do agree that Elon Musk is in over his head at Tesla, as they waste too much time impressing investors at the board room table than focusing on ways to stabilize production costs and meeting current demands.

 

29 January 2018
SmokingCoal wrote:

Many of us will keep on rolling coal for many years to come!

I was part of a team who designed a coal-fired power station once. They are nasty, dirty, slow, expensive, inefficient things. Enjoy them while you can, because they will be switched off sooner than you think.

29 January 2018

i would bet this is the final new Honda diesel model, we know the CR-V wont have a diesel in the new model. I guess this was signed off before Europe woke up to what the rest of the world already knew. But while CoCar tax rates remain CO2 based i suspect this will still sell OK

29 January 2018

Even in the world of company cars, the lower list price on a petrol can counter the lower tax rate on a diesel and make the petrol similar in cost to the diesel, and sometimes cheaper. I suspect you're right about this being the last Honda diesel, save perhaps putting this updated engine in the HRV when its facelifted.

29 January 2018

Diesel is crashing and burning in its lies. Autocar needs to save its reputation and cut anchor. Come the MOT changes in May many a diesel owner will find their smoky cars to be problematic. If number plates are anything to go buy these cars are only reliable for three years.

29 January 2018
“There's a place for diesel, and it’s proven to be the least CO2-emitting technology by some way"

Does that include the enourmous amount of electricity required to produce the diesel, or does the diesal magically appear in the car's fuel tank?

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