Diesel decline has ended but long-term outlook remains bleak

Growing sales of diesel SUVs are helping to prevent the European market share of the powertrain from sliding more than it already has in Europe. The continuing increase in popularity of compact SUVs from volume automakers such as the Volkswagen Tiguan and the Peugeot 3008 means that segment is now the largest for diesel sales, with 621,242 sold through 10 months of 2019, according to data from market researcher JATO Dynamics.

Between 2015 and 2018 diesel sales in the segment increased 19 percent, while elsewhere customers were abandoning the powertrain. The damage done by the VW Group emissions-cheating scandal, the threat of higher taxes and the growing number of bans in urban areas has caused a dramatic decline in diesel demand in the last four years.