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Concerns about diesel market spread to dealers

Nearly nine out of 10 (87%) dealers plan to review their stock profiles for diesel vehicles in 2018 in response to signs of consumer reaction to media reports on diesel.

Vehicles waiting to be remarketed

87% of dealers plan to alter stock profiles for 2018.

The recent survey carried out by Cox Automotive also found that 80% of dealers have seen a change in consumer attitudes towards diesel due to uncertainty around the fuel, and a further 86% say they expect this to continue into 2018.

The remarketing specialist also reported that diesel’s historically steady market share against petrol has shifted downwards in the last 12 months. The fuel, which held a 46% market share (against petrol at 50%) in September 2016, has now moved to 40% (against 54.6% petrol).

Latest registration figures published last week by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show diesel registrations fell 21.7% in September, while petrol was down 1.2%. In contrast, registrations of alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) were up 41.0% to 22,628 units.

However, fleet management and leasing specialist Venson has warned operators this week not to cut diesel vehicles out of the fleet make-up as its newly published The Future of Diesel for Fleets: White Paper highlights that Euro 6 diesel vehicles still have merits for fleets, particularly for high-mileage drivers and in commercial vehicle operations.

And within the dealer market, Philip Nothard, head of external relations at Cox Automotive, predicts diesel will remain integral in the medium term.

“Let’s not get carried away, we won’t suddenly see dealers forgoing diesel altogether. It will continue to rule as a leading fuel for some time. We predict dealers will continue to invest until a steeper downward trend in consumer demand is seen,” he commented.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.