IN light of the emissions scandal, and various governments and local authorities now changing their mind on the environmentally friendly credentials of the fossil fuel, it's probably not a shock that it turns out diesel car registrations in Europe fell by 7.9% in 2017, according to JATO. There were still 6.76 million diesels sold across Europe last year, but the 43.7% market share that represents is the lowest for diesels in the last decade. Petrol registration grew as a result, and SUVs continue to be an ongoing success story for the industry.
JATO is a company founded in 1984 that provides up-to-date information on vehicle specifications, pricing, sales, registrations, news and incentives. Its data regarding 2017 vehicles sales and registrations in Europe is extensive to say the least, and plenty of it makes for very interesting reading.
On the whole, the European motor industry had a pretty good year in 2017 with new registrations coming in at an impressive 15.57 million, which is an increase of 3.1% on the 2016 result. As a result of our love affair with diesel waning, an extra 760,000 petrol models were sold, but SUVs led the growth with a 19.5% increase on the previous year to a new record of 4.56 million registrations. When we dig deeper into the data, it appears the strong overall result is largely down to Eastern and Southern Europe, where sales grew over the previous year by 12.7 and 6.2% respectively.
There were only five countries that didn't see overall vehicle registration increase in 2017. Denmark, Finland and Switzerland all saw a drop of around 0.5% each, but things were much worse in the UK where sales fell by 5.7%, and Ireland where sales were down by as much as 10.4%.
Felipe Munoz, the global automotive analyst at JATO Dynamics commented: "The vast majority of market growth in 2017 was driven by SUVs, which posted a record 4.56 million registrations in 2017. The monumental growth of SUVs impacted the MPV segment, as MPV registrations decreased by 15.1% in 2017 – the lowest market share of the century."