German carmakers are backing the diesel despite all the debate. For climate protection, the share of diesel in new registrations, which has fallen sharply recently, must rise again, said bernhard mattes, president of the german association of the automotive industry (VDA), in berlin.
"We must not obscure our view of CO2 in the face of all the discussions about nitrogen dioxide," said mattes. "The future of the car is primarily electric." But internal combustion engines were still needed for a long time.
Diesel engines have been criticized for years for emitting harmful nitrogen dioxide, but they emit less climate-damaging carbon dioxide (CO2) than gasoline engines. The industry will have to advertise more strongly again, said mattes.
In western europe, 37 percent of all newly registered cars in the first nine months were diesel. According to the german association of the automotive industry (VDA), two-thirds of the new diesel vehicles registered in germany in november fall under the latest euro 6d TEMP emissions standard, which, according to initial measurements, emits less nitrogen dioxide than earlier models.
According to VDA forecasts, fewer cars will be sold in germany this year than in 2017. Around 3.4 million new registrations expected by the end of the year, equivalent to a drop of around one percent. Mattes pointed out that the previous year had been very strong. "The development of the german passenger car market in 2018 is encouraging," he emphasized. "It has proven to be very robust against all odds."The association had actually expected 3.5 million new registrations.
Problems this year were caused by a new emissions test standard that has been in effect since september. The manufacturers did not have the permission for all models yet and had to throttle back their production. This effect is limited to a few months, mattes said. For the next year, the association nevertheless expects slightly less than 3.4 million new registrations and a further minus of one percent. But this is more than the average of the past five years.
In the meantime, automakers are feeling the effects of the trade conflict between china and the USA. German manufacturers’ exports from the U.S. To china fell by a third in the first ten months of this year, according to the VDA. The world car market is stagnating. As in the previous year, it will comprise around 85 million vehicles in 2018, and then increase by around one percent to 85.9 million next year.
Mattes defended the trip of top executives from carmakers volkswagen, daimler and BMW to washington for talks with U.S. President donald trump. "They were talking about their plans for the u.S. Market, not about trade issues," the VDA chief said. "This is something that is not unusual."In germany, too, industry is talking to the government about its site plans. He said it was a good sign that all the german manufacturer representatives who were at the table in washington had spoken of a good atmosphere.