Diesel backlash means new cars on United Kingdom roads pumping out more CO2

Diesel backlash means new cars on United Kingdom roads pumping out more CO2

The decline in diesel sales was highlighted as the SMMT reported that annual new vehicle sales fell for the first time in six years.

Fall in diesel sales has corresponded with an overall decline in the vehicle market, with annual registrations falling for the first time in six years, according to SMMT, with a final annual figure of 2,540,617 units - down by 5.7% compared to 2016.

The number of new diesel cars registered for sale in the United Kingdom fell by over 17% in 2017, figures published by the trade body representing the motor industry today (5 January) have suggested.

Asked about the decline in diesels, Mr Hawes claimed "confusing anti-diesel messages have caused many to hesitate before buying a new low emission diesel car". "The cost of regulatory compliance has led manufacturers to consider the financial viability of producing diesel cars below €35,000, while consumers are considering the merits of buying diesel at a time when Governments are introducing bans that prevent them from driving those cars into their capital cities".

Fellow Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) brand, Fiat saw the third-largest reduction in sales, with registrations down by 26.6 percent previous year.

Demand for diesels fell by 31% last month and 17% over the year, the SMMT said, arguing it had dented progress in cutting tailpipe Carbon dioxide emissions.

"It is important to put this into context - this is about the sixth biggest year ever and third best in the last decade, coming off a record 2015 and 2016, so the market is still a record high". Hawes added: "Despite the overall decline, new auto registrations remain high, with the market still the second biggest in the European Union, behind Germany".

West Ham fans urged to stop 999 calls after 'losing again'
We want to play better and play in a different way at times, but there is a huge gulf between the top clubs and the middle clubs at the moment.

It's fair to say the steep decline in demand for diesel cars is causing both frustration and consternation within the motor industry.

However, declining diesel sales are also likely to impact the carbon tailpipe emissions of new cars, potentially hampering progress towards climate change targets.

In November's Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a tax hike on new diesel cars from April 1.

But Hawes countered that for many drivers diesel was still "the best bet because they can save a lot of money and indeed have a lower C02 emission".

Confusion over the cleanliness and tax position of diesel cars - and a big fall in their sales - is behind the increase.

Environmental campaigner Tony Juniper told the BBC's Today programme that demand for electric cars was increasing "at a rate that's defying predictions that were being made five or 10 years ago".

"It's growing, it's growing rapidly, but you can see the scale of the challenge", he added.

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