Diesel car sales in the UK fell by over a third in March on the back of continuing talk of possible selective diesel car bans as well as continuing fallout from the Volkswagen diesel emissions cheating scandal. That’s according to new figures from the UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
That drop in demand lowered total diesel car registrations in the UK during the month by 15.7% — something that’s particularly notable since March is usually the best month of the year for car sales in the UK.
Notably, though, sales in March 2016 were considered to be inflated somewhat due to an impending tax increase, so that reality may be responsible for some of the drop in question.
Reuters provides a bit more information: “Registrations stood at 474,069 vehicles, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), with demand down among business and individual buyers. Sales of diesel cars have slumped in many European countries as regulators and politicians crack down on the segment with plans for bans, levies and additional taxes in many cities.”
That reality is reflected in the recent decision by Volkswagen to offer a “Germany Guarantee” to buyers of diesel cars in the country as a means of salvaging dropping sales (the terms of which don’t seem all that good).
Notably, the release of the new figures from the SMMT included this quote from CEO Mike Hawes: “All technologies, regardless of fuel type, have a role to play in helping improve air quality whilst meeting our climate change targets, so government must do more to encourage consumers to buy new vehicles rather than hang onto their older, more polluting vehicles.”
One could certainly argue with the position held by the SMMT CEO if they wanted to…