The diesel crisis has started to affect the Swiss used car market. Within the last two years, searches for used diesel vehicles fell by a quarter to an all-time low of 52 per cent. This is shown by a data analysis of 53 million searches performed on comparis.ch, the Internet comparison site. A Comparis expert explains what this now means for diesel car drivers.
“The decline in the number of searches isn't a good sign for anyone who wants to sell a diesel car,” says Harry H. Meier, car expert at comparis.ch. A survey carried out back in February 2017 showed that one in two people expected diesel cars to lose value. Indeed, this latest analysis even showed that a third of those surveyed wanted to pay less for diesel cars.
Recalls and bans put diesel under pressure
A representative survey carried out by the market research company Innofact shows that diesel engines have not only come under pressure in Switzerland. Motorists in Germany, where diesel cars are popular, were surveyed on their vehicle purchasing intentions in mid-July 2017. This revealed that diesels are currently the first choice for only one in seven German buyers for their next car purchase. “The mood in Switzerland appears to be similarly bleak. Diesel has been severely affected by negative press, and this is now being felt on the used car market,” says Meier, pointing out the ongoing controversy related to manipulated exhaust emissions, driving bans, health risks, retrofitting and recalls.
Petrol-driven cars on top – dramatic increase in electric car searches
This negative trend among diesel vehicles is benefiting the petrol engine. It is currently experiencing a revival in the searches analysed, increasing in popularity by a third. Before the outbreak of the diesel crisis, only 33 per cent of searches were for petrol-powered cars, a figure that has since risen to 44 per cent. Searches for electric vehicles are also on the up. They increased by 285 per cent in the same period from 0.6 per cent to a new all-time high of 2.3 per cent. Car expert Meier: “Even though searches for electric vehicles are still hovering at a very low level, more interest in e-mobility has been observed among used car buyers.”