POST TIME: 4 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM
German new car sales jump in Feb

German new car sales jump in Feb

AFP, FRANKFURT AM MAIN: Sales of new cars increased strongly in Germany in February, industry data showed Friday, but shipments of diesel vehicles continue to fall in the wake of repeated scandals.

The number of new cars registered on the country’s roads rose by seven percent to 261,700 last month, figures from manufacturers’ association VDA showed.

That brought the total for the first two months of the year combined to 531,100 vehicles, the highest level since 1999, the VDA said in a statement.

Nevertheless, sales of new diesel cars continued to decline, separate data from the KBA vehicle licensing authority showed.

While 62.9 per cent of new cars were petrol powered, diesel vehicles accounted for just 32.5 per cent -- 19.5 percentage points lower than a year before.

Diesel drivers, politics and industry were held in suspense in February, as a court decision approached on whether the oldest cars powered by the fuel could be banned from city centres to fight air pollution. Judges at the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig finally approved the measure this week.

Now city, state and federal governments, drivers, the auto industry and environmentalists must wrangle over how to meet targets for levels of harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) and fine particles in city air—if possible without driving bans.

In the meantime, the possible urban exclusion zones and a plummet in the resale value of diesel vehicles have put buyers off the fuel.