As speculated in the comments section of our article on Stuttgart’s decision to begin selectively banning diesel cars from the city during times of high air pollution, diesel car sales in the region appear to have fallen notably. Presumably, public discussion on the possibility of future bans has put a damper on diesel cars.
Overall, car sales in Germany actually “fell” in February (for the first time since October 2016) by 2.6%, but on top of this, the share of sales held by diesel models actually fell by 3.8%, according to KBA. I put “fell” in quotes because it was a very short month, and sales would have actually been up around 2% if the month was a “regular” one.
Despite the slight drop, the diesel model share of the total German auto market still totals 43.4%, though, it should be noted. (A total of 243,602 new vehicles were sold in Germany in February.)
It’ll be interesting to see how much this figure falls in coming months, especially as Munich will also apparently be imposing some restrictions on diesel car use in the city as well.
“February dealt a blow to the German new car market,” commented Peter Fuss, a senior partner and automotive specialist in Ernst & Young’s German practice. Fuss also noted that rising energy costs and inflation were part of the reason for the drop as compared to January’s strong growth.
Welcome to the club — that’s the state that most of the rest of the “European Union” has been in for quite some time. (I wonder why…)
“Buyers are shunning diesel car purchases as Germany discusses driving bans and because of increases in car selling prices expected on the back of manufacturers’ efforts to improve emissions-control technology, Fuss said,” according to Reuters.
“Stuttgart, home to premium carmakers Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, has said it will next year ban diesel cars which do not comply with latest emissions limits from the city on days when pollution is heavy.” You can read more on Stuttgart’s planned ban here.
There’s also the possible influence of the Volkswagen diesel emissions cheating scandal — though, this doesn’t seem to have influenced German auto buyers much to date.