August 16, 2016: Bosch’s overview of diesel markets from China to the US has it that sales have been boosted by the monsoon in India, banned in the Brazilian passenger segment, and progressing in the United States.
UNITED STATES: Diesel boom on the horizon
Changes in the business environment:
The new emissions legislation, which favor vehicles with low fuel consumption through a graduated tax system, open up new opportunities for diesel. At the same time, the U.S. market for light vehicles grew by 13.3 percent in 2012.
Choice of models:
A number of European manufacturers already sell passenger cars equipped with modern diesel technology on the US market. And as of 2013, US manufacturers have finally started to offer diesel versions of their own vehicles again. Bosch anticipates that the number of diesel models available in North America will reach 60 by 2017. A recent example is the Chevrolet Cruze, for which Bosch supplies the diesel fuel injection system along with the exhaust-gas treatment system, engine control system, ceramic glow plugs, and sensors.
In 2012, a good 45 percent of all light commercial vehicles in the world were registered in North America. In terms of the global market, in 2012 around 14 percent of all heavy commercial vehicles were registered in the U.S. and Canada. With a focus exclusively on the North American market, statistics show that practically all heavy commercial vehicles run on diesel fuel.
CHINA: Advanced technology making headway
China currently represents only one percent of the global market for diesel passenger cars. The introduction of the China 4 emission standards on July 1, 2013, imposes even more stringent requirements for commercial vehicles. This is likely to stimulate growth through the increased demand for advanced diesel technologies such as the common rail system from Chinese car buyers in the future.
China’s level of car ownership currently (as of 2012) stands at around 37 passenger cars per 1,000 inhabitants. This offers plenty of potential for growth given the country’s steadily expanding economy. By comparison, in the European Union, the average number of vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants is approximately 500.
INDIA: A diesel nation en route to the city
In 2012, India accounted for 15 percent of the global market for diesel passenger cars, the second-largest market after Europe. Currently, more than half of all new passenger car registrations are for diesel vehicles. But this has to be seen in relation to the level of car ownership: at the beginning of 2012, a mere 16 out of 1,000 Indian citizens owned a car.
At present, around 30 percent of the Indian population lives in cities and the surrounding suburban areas, a proportion that is expected to rise to 40 percent before long. As urbanization advances, it will be necessary to improve the capacity of infrastructures to deal with the inevitable increase in road traffic. The resulting increase in internal trade and transportation of merchandise will also lead to a significantly more prominent role for diesel.
The seasonal cycle in India with its annual monsoon rains increases the demand for tractors and other agricultural machinery at certain peak times of the year. It is therefore hardly surprising that India is the world’s leading producer of three-wheel tractors and other three-wheel vehicles.
BRAZIL: No diesel in passenger cars
Brazil has banned the sale and use of diesel passenger cars. Their place is taken by vehicles that run on pure ethanol or on a mixture of ethanol and petrol (FlexFuel). Ethanol and FlexFuel vehicles are widespread.
Cars are a luxury:
In general, because of the import restrictions and taxes, vehicles are very expensive in Brazil. This is reflected in the low level of car ownership at around 200 vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants. Commercial vehicles: Diesel is much more strongly represented in the commercial vehicle segment. Its share ranges from around 40 percent for light vehicles to almost 100 percent for heavy vehicles.
JAPAN: Focus on urban driving solutions
While the number of new registrations of diesel passenger cars has been increasing over the past few years, these vehicles still only account for less than one percent of the Japanese passenger car market. As recently as 2009, the Mercedes-Benz E-class was the only diesel saloon on the market. Today, more than a dozen different models are offered by various manufacturers.
Due to the dense infrastructure on the Japanese islands, most journeys undertaken by drivers of passenger cars involve driving in urban traffic. For this reason there is a strong interest in alternative technologies such as hybrid and electric vehicles. This trend is reinforced by the availability of government subsidies for this type of vehicle as of December 2011.
Around 10 percent of light commercial vehicles and almost all heavy commercial vehicles are equipped with diesel engines.
EUROPE: Three-quarters of all sales of new diesel vehicles are concentrated here
Market share: Diesel vehicles already account for a high share of the European market, and are so popular that the opportunities for growth are correspondingly moderate. In 2012, one of every two new diesel vehicles in the world (passenger cars and commercial vehicles) was registered in Europe. This statistic increases to two-thirds of all new registrations if the data are restricted to passenger cars.
The countries with the highest sales of diesel vehicles are Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the UK.
Purchasers of SUVs, who represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the auto market, almost always opt for a diesel engine. In 2012, the share of diesel engines in the large SUV segment stood at around 80 percent.