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09 Jan 2018

Diesel vehicles market share could shrink to 15% by 2025

A study conducted by Aston University in Birmingham, has revealed that diesel vehicles could see their share of the UK car market plummet from 50% to 15% by 2025. This conclusion was drawn due to a “perfect storm” of environmental concerns and Government policy.

Last week, figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders found that demand for diesel cars slumped by more than 17% last year. The trade body attributes the demand drop to anti-diesel news stories and the potential for tax increases putting new buyers off from buying diesel cars.

David Bailey, Professor of Industry at the Aston University, the conductor of the survey, has predicted that 2018 would likely see another double-digit slump in percentage terms, triggered by environmental pressures and consumer confusion around the Government’s views on diesel.

He said:

“Sales of diesels are set to fall by up to 10 per cent in 2018, and they could have as little as 30% of the market by 2020 – shrinking rapidly to 15% by 2025”.

In September 2015, Volkswagen shook the car industry when it admitted that it had installed so-called defeat devices in as many as 11 million diesel cars sold worldwide between 2008 and 2015 in order to pass emissions tests.

Professor Bailey commented on the incident claiming it had “rattled” the reputation of diesel vehicles and that the sector was now dealing with “bad PR over pollution”, “concerns over increasingly strict regulations” as well as “sinking second-hand values”.

Last year, the Government said that it would increase the levy on new diesel cars that do not meet the latest emissions standards, following months of uncertainty over the possibility of the introduction of a scrappage scheme. There has also been confusion by the industry and buyers alike, over the Government’s plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040 altogether.

Professor Bailey said that it’s now clear that “diesel is dying a slow death”, meaning that now is the right time for the Government to offer up scrappage benefits to those who are willing to “ditch their diesels and switch to electric cars”.

By Kathryn Pegler