Published on November 26th, 2017 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Too little, too late…..the fall of the diesel car empire in Europe

Car manufacturers are taking steps to clean up their diesels. Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz spent 3 billion euros to develop a new family of 4 and 6-cylinder diesels capable of drastically cutting on-road NO2 emissions. By the end of 2019, roughly 80% of all new diesels sold in Germany will be equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) converters, which is the most expensive exhaust after-treatment system on the market. Acting now, however, may be too little, too late. The ground is already shifting beneath automakers’ feet.

During the first 6-months 2017, the penetration rate for diesels in Europe’s car fleet dropped to 45.3% from 49.4% during the same period last year. It was the lowest share and the fastest drop for diesel since 2009. By end of this year the figure is said to be even lower as more European car buyers opt more for petrol, electric and hybrid vehicles and shy away from diesel vehicles.

Adjusted for that effect, the 2017 numbers for diesels look historically bad, especially in Germany where new manufacturer incentives to purchase new Euro 6 diesels have so far fallen flat

After celebrating in late December of last year a record high in domestic new-car registrations of diesels despite Volkswagen Group’s emissions-cheating scandal, Germany’s powerful ADAC auto club told customers to shun the powertrain until it fulfilled the newest Euro 6d standard valid since last month. The ADAC, which has 20 million members, recently blasted both carmakers and politicians for failing to act sooner to prevent diesel bans and leaving drivers at risk of “paying the bill.”

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