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Study highlights car dealers' diesel dilemma

April 24, 2018

German car dealers active in the used vehicle market are reeling from the aftermath of the diesel emissions-cheating scandal, a new study has shown. Profit margins are going down fast as diesels are hard to sell.

German car dealer talking to clients
Image: Imago/Hoch Zwei/Angerer

The ongoing diesel crisis is hitting German car dealers hard, especially in the used car market, a study by the German Automobile Trust (DAT) has revealed.

The survey released Tuesday found that 87 percent of dealers across the nation were now only able to sell second-hand diesel vehicles when offering huge discounts.

The DAT study pointed out that almost 30 percent of respondents said they wanted to get rid of their diesels as soon as possible, fearing yet another drop in the value of their cars or fearing looming bans on diesels in big German cities.

The image of diesel cars has been seriously tarnished by Volkswagen's 2015 admission that it had cheated on emissions tests. New registrations of diesel cars have been plummeting in Germany for months.

CO2 and NOx

In a separate study on Tuesday, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said CO2 emissions of newly registered cars in the European Union rose in 2017 after years of declining figures.

The agency said the increase was also attributable to more gasoline cars being sold again as a direct result of the diesel emissions-cheating scandal. While emitting less nitrogen oxide, petrol cars account for higher levels of CO2 emissions.

Only a massive shift to new-energy cars including electric vehicles would enable the car industry to free itself of its emissions problem, EEA officials noted.

But so far, e-cars or hybrids have been slow to conquer EU markets as they are still too expensive, and the re-charging infrastructure is still weak.

hg/aos (dpa, Reuters)