It’s not just Volkswagen Group with diesel woes, during August EU diesel car sales showed the lowest monthly market share since diesel penetration peaked in 2011. However, with a market share of 48.3%, diesel car sales remain substantial. Year-to-date the tally is 4.7 million diesel car sales.
What’s for worrying automakers – but maybe not environmentalists – is the trend. The downward slide in diesel demand is ongoing. The average level of monthly decline since peak diesel share is 1.2 percentage points.
Caveat here: August is routinely a poor month for diesel car sales in several important markets. Therefore 2016 has been no exception, according to consultancy LMC Automotive, the source of the data.
All markets aside from Denmark, Italy and Switzerland saw declines in annualized diesel share during August. Of the Big 5 markets (Italy aside) France and Spain continue to see the most decline (about 6 percentage points) while Germany and the UK were more stable with year‐on‐year falls of below ‐2%.
Diesel sales volume across the region in August, at 370,000 units, was 2.5% up compared to 2015. Only France, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden saw notable falls. Germany and Italy were key to improved volume. Spain also saw modest growth in diesel volume. The UK was flat. Of the declining markets, the Netherlands has seen the largest move away from diesel.