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September 5, 2017

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Diesel falls as German car sales climb

SALES of new cars in Germany rose in August, official figures showed yesterday, but uncertainty over the future of diesel saw registrations of vehicles powered by the fuel continue to slide.

The total number of new registrations on German roads rose by 3.5 percent compared with the same month in 2016, the federal transport authority KBA said, reaching almost 254,000 vehicles.

That was faster than growth of 1.5 percent in July.

Registrations of diesel cars fell by almost 14 percent year on year last month.

Prospective buyers in Europe’s largest economy have been spooked by politicians’ response to mass cheating on regulatory emissions tests to conceal excessive levels of nitrogen oxides.

Some cities are mooting bans on heavily polluting vehicles at certain times to tackle the resulting air pollution.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “working to prevent driving bans” as a gathering of mayors of badly affected cities and towns got underway ysterday.

Over the year from January to August, only around 40.9 percent of new cars registered were diesel-powered, the VDA auto industry federation said, down from 46.7 percent over the same period last year.

Looking at the different brands, Volkswagen — at the heart of the diesel scandal — was the largest single carmaker by registrations, with 43,500 or 17.2 percent of the total.


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