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Diesel car sales tanking in Germany

March 2, 2018

Germany has reported a jump in new car registrations over the past four months. At the same time, consumers felt a lot less inclined to buy diesel cars, following a series of scandals and looming driving bans in cities.

Berlin road traffic
Image: Imago/Frank Sorge

Sales of new cars increased strongly across Germany in February, industry data showed Friday. The number of new cars registered on the country's roads rose by 7 percent to 261,700 last month, the VDA manufacturers' association said in a fresh report.

The figure brought the total for the first two months of the year to 531,000, the highest level since 1999, the industry lobby group said in a statement.

Nonetheless, sales of new diesel cars continued to decline, separate data from the KBA vehicle licensing authority revealed.

While 62.9 percent of new cars were gasoline-powered, diesel vehicles accounted for just 32.5 percent in February, marking a staggering 19.5-percentage-point drop from a year earlier.

Looming driving bans

Diesel drivers, politicians and industry watchers closely followed a court ruling earlier this week that paved the way for older diesel cars to be banned from a number of cities because of their high NOx emissions.

There is much discord over how to bring down air pollution levels in cities and whether the situation can be improved without actually imposing driving bans.

Over the first two months, domestic carmakers increased their German sales by around 8 percent, while foreign manufacturers managed to shift 13 percent more cars year on year, VDA officials reported.

German diesel bans set to affect businesses

hg/aos (AFP, dpa)

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