The fall of the diesel car in Europe is continuing at pace, with a market share of just 41.4% achieved in October 2017, owing to a 9.9% year-on-year decline in sales volume. That’s based on the most recent figures from JATO Dynamics.
The 41.4% market share figure represents the low point for diesel car sales in Europe going back at least 10 years. This decline is occurring against an overall auto market in Europe that’s booming, with new vehicle sales there during October 2017 being up some 5.6% year on year — with a total of 1,202,877 units moved during the month.
This contrasts starkly with the situation as regards plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles — with so-called alternative fuel vehicles managing to grab a 5.5% market share in Europe in October 2017, the second highest market ever held by such vehicles there. To explain that in a different way, the market share held by alternative fuel vehicles in Europe has risen some 5 percentage points over the last 10 years (during October 2007, they held a 0.3% market share).
JATO Dynamics’ Global Automotive Analyst Felipe Munoz commented on the news: “Demand for diesel vehicles has declined following a series of initiatives to reduce diesel use, and subsequent confusion around proposed bans. This shift has boosted gasoline and AFV registrations. Growth of electric and hybrid vehicles has accelerated during the last four months and consumers are more aware of the choices available. But, despite a series of launches, there’s still limited AFV choice in categories such as the SUV segment. When looking at the AFV data, hybrids still lead the way, accounting for 59% of the total volume for the AFV category, compared to PHEV and fully electric (BEV) vehicles, which accounted for 23% and 17% respectively.”
That’s a very good point about SUVs … until affordable plug-in electric SUVs are available in Europe (and of course in the US as well), there will be a significant portion of auto buyers who are essentially unreachable. It’s ridiculous, but it’s still true — there are many people who will only buy an SUV. (Of course there is a very limited portion of the population that genuinely does “require” a vehicle that can perform the way that an all-wheel drive SUV or truck does, but most people who buy them don’t actually need them.)