Emissions scandal is hitting diesel sales - Carlos Ghosn

Published: 01 March 2016

► 'Diesel will become less popular'
► Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn
► The fall-out from VW emissions crisis

The worldwide boss of Renault-Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, has told CAR that worldwide sales of diesel vehicles continue to be hit by the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

Talking at the 2016 Geneva motor show, Ghosn predicted that more buyers would shun the black pump as they worried over the potentially higher emissions, fuel consumption and legal worries associated with diesel fuel, after VW was found to be deliberately cheating emissions tests in the US.

Well, he would say that wouldn't he? He's a champion of electric cars!

Fair enough. Renault-Nissan is the world's biggest electric vehicle manufacturer, commanding more than 50% of global EV sales. But Renault isn't exactly unknown for purveying diesel cars. And Ghosn wasn't afraid to predict long-term decline for derv engines.

'The percentage of diesel orders is going down in some countries,' he admitted. 'It's too early to say by how much, but we can see that some people are starting to move away from diesel.

'It will decrease in percentage terms, I am sure. Especially as the cost [of producing emissions compliance technology and exhaust after-treatment] will continue to grow' in order to meet Euro 6 and even tighter rules in future. 

What future for diesel?

It's not the end of the oily stuff, the Alliance chief told us. He predicted that diesel's natural efficiency - it produces around 15% less CO2 per volume than petrol - combined with advanced engineering would ensure diesel would be with us for decades to come.

'It will continue, but there will be less demand,' Ghosn predicted. He called for better legislation by governments to provide a fair, clear and trusted methodology of gauging fuel consumption across all types of car.

Read a handy explainer on the VW emissions scandal

Read more of CAR’s 2016 Geneva motor show coverage here

Click here for CAR’s A-Z guide to the 2016 Geneva motor show

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet