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JATO: new diesel car volume in Europe in October dropped 9.9%; 41.4% market share lowest in 10 years

New vehicle sales in Europe in October 2017 increased 5.6% year-on-year to 1,202,877 units, according to figures from JATO Dynamics. This is the highest volume recorded for October since 2009, when 1.26 million units were registered. Despite a turbulent 2017, results for the first ten months of the year show an overall increase in registrations of 3.6%, with 13.18 million units registered over the period. This is the highest volume recorded since 2007, when 13.62 million vehicles were registered during the same ten month timeframe.

Growth was driven by increased demand for gasoline, electric and hybrid vehic—and the ongoing strong performance of SUVs. Gasoline vehicle sales rose to 619,300 units, accounting for 51.5% of the market—an increase in market share of 5.1 percentage points. In contrast, demand for diesel vehicles declined, with 498,500 units registered, a decline in volume of 9.9%. As a result, the fuel type accounted for 41.4% of the total market, the lowest market share for October in the last ten years.

In contrast, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) reported the second highest market share ever recorded in October 2017, with 66,000 electric and hybrid vehicles registered. As a result, the category accounted for 5.5% of total registrations. In contrast, ten years ago in October 2007, AFVs accounted for only 0.3% of the market.

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.

—Felipe Munoz, Global Automotive Analyst at JATO Dynamics

Strong results in major European markets including France, Italy, Spain, Poland and the Netherlands all contributed to October’s positive performance. The performance of these markets offset the decline in demand for diesel vehicles, and the decline in the UK market where registrations were down by 12.2% compared to October 2016.

The VW Golf maintained its top spot, with a significant 24% increase in registrations.

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