January 31, 2006

European diesel sales on track to exceed gasoline

London, England – A survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that diesels accounted for 49 per cent of the total European car market at the end of 2005; diesel is now set to overtake gasoline as the primary fuel for new passenger vehicles in Europe during 2006. The new figures represent a seven per cent increase in annual sales volume over the prior period.

Demand for diesel models tends to be higher in markets with a large price different between the fuels, although in the U.K., where diesel prices are five per cent higher than gasoline, there was an eight per cent gain in diesel vehicle sales. Prices for diesel cars also continued to rise more quickly, by 3.5 per cent a year, compared with those of gasoline cars, which rose 3.2 per cent.

Overall, the highest vehicle prices are in Demark, where prices are 91 per cent above Eurozone averages, while the lowest are in Switzerland, which were eight per cent below the average.

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