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Diesels elevated to public enemy No 1 in Europe, but Korean’s have no such qualms 
Peter Schmidt | Editor

Published: Tue, 03rd April 2018 15:36:18 GMT

Korea traffic AID

"Europe’s diesel car owners, peering into the future clearly don’t like what they see. The likelihood of city bans, higher discriminatory taxation and the ticking time-bomb of plummeting residual values are just a few of diesel car owners’ current anxieties. Given the bleak future now universally painted for diesel cars in Europe, it comes as no surprise that spiralling numbers of Europe’s diesel car owners - given a good trade in or scrappage deal - are now dumping their diesel cars in droves. And who can blame them. 

In India, two months through the current year, the sales share going to diesels remains at 40 per cent. 

That compares with 40 per cent during the whole of last year, but a higher 44 per cent during the previous year. 

Likewise, in South Korea there still appears to be no anti-diesel sentiment. 

On the contrary, apart from one notable exception - Volkswagen-Audi - in South Korea little appears to have changed the popularity of diesel powered cars. 

Last year diesel powered cars were still responsible for 47 per cent of Korean car imports. 

Still more astonishing, BMW told AID that last year “nearly 50,000” of the 69,000 BMWs and Minis sold by the group in South Korea were diesels. 

Put into perspective, that’s 72 per cent of last year’s BMW-Mini sales in Korea. 

Last year, excluding all imports, diesels accounted for 45 per cent of domestic Korean Light-Vehicle sales. 

The sales share going to electric cars, by comparison reached just 0.85 per cent. 

Moreover, every second BMW sold in Japan today is diesel powered.

Are we missing a trick? 

For the past couple of years Europe’s new car buyers seemed like a rabbit mesmerised by the headlights of a speeding car. 

The steady and continuing drum-beat of the long-running anti-diesel campaign, now coming from virtually all directions, simply could not fail but instil lingering doubt in car buyers’ minds. 

The consequence, it seems to some market observers is the greatest and most significant loss of diesel market share seen in Western Europe for decades. 

Unless the lemming like rush over the cliff is stopped soon, likelihood is that in little more than a decade from now ultra CO2-efficient diesel-fuelled cars could have gone the same way as the dinosaurs, at least in Europe. 

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