Berlin – The scandal over toxic emissions from diesel-powered cars is impacting the German automotive sector amid threats to ban certain vehicles from city centres, the association representing the motor trade said in Berlin on Thursday.
“Car buyers are extremely unsettled,” said Juergen Karpinski, president of the ZDK association. “Looming driving bans in heavily populated regions are causing used diesels to be virtually unsaleable.”
Turnover in the sector had for this reason risen only 1.4 per cent annually in 2017 to 174.4 billion euros (218 billion dollars), he said, by contrast with a stronger rise in overall consumer spending.
Yield on turnover in the sector was between 1.3 and 1.6 per cent, following 1.7 per cent in 2016, based on preliminary figures, Karpinski said.
This was unsurprising given that there were hundreds of thousands of unsold used diesels, as well as diesels from leasing agreements being returned, he said. Some businesses in the sector were struggling, Karpinski said.
In August 2017 there were around 300,000 diesel-powered cars complying with the now-superseded Euro 5 emissions standard in stock, with the number of these second-hand vehicles continuing to rise.