More than three-quarters, (78%) of UK motor dealers will not be making snap investments in alternative fuel or electric vehicles in light of negativity towards diesel according to the latest market data.
The analysis by automotive data experts Cap HPI shows solid support for diesel vehicles from the majority of dealers who took part in a nationwide dealer survey canvassing their opinions of this and other motor related matters.
Eighteen per cent of dealers said they would look into investing in AFV/EV vehicles with the remaining 4% unsure.
A further 84% of dealers surveyed said that they were fully aware and knowledgeable about the fuel debate and issues surrounding diesel. Just 14% claimed to be not fully clued up about the fuel facts.
Although consumers are almost level pegging on questioning their purchasing decisions (51% v 47%), dealers with expert knowledge are well placed to offer the best advice and quell knee-jerk reactions from consumers.
Commenting on the findings Philip Nothard, consumer and retail editor at Cap HPI said: “In the context of the fuel debate this shows that dealers are overwhelmingly supportive of diesel and are not deterred by negativity in the media surrounding the perceived issues.”
Faced with questioning around changing stock profiles against the backdrop of negative press exposure surrounding diesel engines and if this was influencing their future stock decisions, the findings indicate that dealer sentiment was very clear; they wouldn’t buckle under pressure from consumer media speculation.
Nothard said: “In terms of impacts on used values, our forecasts have been assuming increased deflation for diesel relative to petrol, across most vehicle sectors, for some time.
“The trend pre-dates the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
“We expect to see a different performance in the long term depending on the vehicle sector.
“Larger diesel SUVs, upper medium and executive cars are likely to continue to be a more attractive proposition than their petrol equivalents, in most cases.
“In the most recent data we’ve produced, diesel Executive cars fared better than their petrol equivalents by +1.4%.”
At last week's AM DigiTech conference Karen Hilton, Carwow head of sales operations, said its data showed diesel orders since October had fallen from 50% to 33% in April.
“Who can blame them when we read headlines such as ‘Four major cities to ban diesel vehicles by 2025’, ‘Will the diesel car you are driving be worthless in five years’ time?’, ‘Diesel cars: It turns out we were wrong’?," she said. For a full report on AM DigiTech see the June issue of AM published at the end of May.