Western European Diesel Car Market
December 2019

Pull Forward of High‐CO2 Models may have Distorted December’s Diesel Market

  • November’s W. Europe diesel car market is confirmed at 31.6% of new car sales and provisional data indicate that December returned a figure of 30.9%, leading to a full‐year value of 32.0% for 2019. December’s figure may have been stronger were it not for the pull forward of high‐CO2 models from 2020 into December 2019 to avoid them counting towards the impending CO2 target. We assume that a disproportionate number of these may have been gasoline rather than diesel, but this is not known for sure. The underlying trend of near stability was retained, the December figure being very close to that seen in August of last year. Year‐on‐year decline in December was a little greater than seen in the preceding two months, but this could be explained by the distorted market dynamics seen in December.
  • Only six of the seventeen W. Europe markets saw diesel car sales lower in December 2019 than in December 2018, with circa 20,000 more diesel cars being sold overall in that month. However, the total car market for December was up by 195,000 units YoY so this is a somewhat misleading figure. Nonetheless, it is an improving measure for diesel. The December 2018 versus December 2017 diesel market saw a loss approaching 100,000 units. Provisional diesel car sales for the whole of 2019 were 4.57mn units, a loss of just under 600,000 compared with 2018, as we have been predicting for some time.

Diesel Share of New Car Sales (%)

Diesel Car Sales Volumes (‘000s)

Oxford, 16th January 2020

For further information contact Al Bedwell, Director, Global Powertrain
Phone +44 1865 791737


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