In their most dynamic move for years, the UK’s biggest sellers of diesel engines came together today - via their uniting body, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) - in a bid to stop the recent demonisation of diesel engines.

They tried to explain that, far from being part of the problem, latest Euro 6 designs are part of the solution both to improving air quality and reducing CO2.

At a morning meeting in central London attended by the UK chiefs of Ford, BMW, VW Group, Vauxhall and Jaguar Land Rover, SMMT CEO Mike Hawes presented research showing that three-quarters of UK motorists were against penalties for the country’s cleanest diesels. He also said that a staggering 87% of them had never heard of Euro 6, the clean-air standard due to be implemented later this year (and embraced long ago by many of the majors).