Buyers are turning away from all diesel models, and cleaning up the technology will be a long and expensive business
Since the Volkswagen emissions test scandal in September, it is not just the German carmaker that has suffered a blow to its image. Diesel automotive technology also faces a battle to regain public trust.
There are already some signs of demand for diesel cars shrinking since VW was forced to apologise for installing “cheat devices” in 11 million vehicles. In Germany, Europe’s largest car market, demand for diesel cars was down 11% by the end of October compared with the average level this year, according to data from car buying website MeinAuto. The decline for VW diesel cars was even steeper, down 14%.
“The slump in demand has surprised us,” said MeinAuto’s managing director, Alexander Brugge. “It’s interesting that it’s not only VW customers who are reluctant to buy diesel vehicles but customers of other brands, too.”
In the UK, official registration numbers of for diesel cars seem to be holding up. Diesel made up 51% of new car sales in both October and November, according to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). That is in line with last year and above this year’s average of 48%. However, there could still be a decline, because of the three-month wait between car order and delivery.
VW chief executive Matthias Müller has promised that the company will increase spending on alternative technologies such as electric and hybrid vehicles by €100m next year.
Read more: The Guardian