Retailers must steady the ship as diesel sinks

An unintended consequence of the mishmash of scrappage schemes has been to encourage owners to trade-in their diesel cars for petrol and hybrid models.

Diesel cars are falling from grace in an uncontrolled free-fall according to the most recent and important sales figures for September. While the numbers overall were down for a sixth consecutive month, the diesel slump was particularly marked – down almost 22% for the month and some 14% for the year so far.

All this is against a backdrop of general anti-car sentiment with politicians emphasising the petrol and diesel ban in 2040 and seemingly looking to push environmental messages over any support for UK vehicle manufacturing or the auto retail sector.

What is more, many consumers are frankly confused – they are now told the diesels which were recommended on economy grounds are now highly polluting and at the same time, that the infrastructure for electric cars is pitifully under resourced. Against all this uncertainty, many may feel buying a cheaper but decent second hand car is a better option than  splashing out on a new one in the short term.

This thinking can be backed up in the experience of Motorpoint, which is a strongly performing used car specialist, and is experiencing some strong results. Ensuring used car stock is as attractive as possible and offering customers service that is second to none would appear to be the only option going forward in these turbulent waters.

Rachel Gordon
Auto Retail Network

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