|Sales of new diesel cars in Europe continue to increase.|
The latest quarterly pricing survey by Pricewaterhouse Coopers and eurocarprice.com finds that diesels accounted for 49% (7,415,198 units) of the total European car market at the end of 2005. That represents a 7% increase in annual sales volume over the prior period.
Diesel is now set to overtake gasoline as the primary fuel for new passenger vehicles in Europe during 2006 as buyers look for more fuel-efficient options.
Although diesel car sales will undoubtedly outstrip those of petrol in the coming year, the debate continues on the ultimate level of penetration they will achieve. They could potentially achieve 55-60% of the total market but the extra costs of making diesels to meet tougher emissions requirements means buyers will still have to pay a premium over petrol versions.
Fuel prices will be another factor. Demand for diesel models tends to be higher in markets where there is the largest price difference between petrol and diesel. Varying levels of diesel fuel taxation between countries will always be a constraint.—Chris Hibbs, UK Automotive leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Although overall the price of diesel was 8% less than that of gasoline, in the UK, which showed an 8% gain in diesel sales, the price of diesel was 5% higher than gasoline.
Prices for diesel cars continued to rise more quickly (by 3.5% a year) compared with those for gasoline cars (3.2%) in the final quarter of 2005, although the overall rate of price increases slowed as sales weakened.
|European Diesel Sales|
Oct 04–Sep 05
|% Total market||% Change sales||Diesel fuel price vs. gasoline|