Last year, an all-time high of 1.3 million diesel cars were acquired by UK drivers attracted by the high performance and low fuel consumption offered by these models. This March alone, a further 250,000 new diesel cars were registered – a monthly record according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
However, amidst its popularity, there is currently speculation about the future of diesel motoring as a result of the government’s promise to “explore the appropriate tax treatment for diesel vehicles”. Industry experts anticipate that there will be action to target much older vehicles not benefiting from the advanced diesel technology already employed by the latest Mercedes-Benz models – all of which meet the current Euro 6 standards.
Mercedes-Benz are committed to the future of diesel cars and continue to lead in innovation regarding cleaner engines. This is signified by its investment in ongoing research and development into the reduction of engine emissions. As part of its commitment to a diesel future, Mercedes-Benz has not only drawn on more than 80 years of know-how but it has also invested some €3 billion in the development and production of a completely new diesel engine family.
This technology achieves new benchmarks in terms of efficiency, emissions and environmental compatibility and means that Mercedes-Benz continues to be at the forefront in terms of meeting European legislation. Indeed, when it unveiled the new four-cylinder E-Class Saloon last year, it became the first manufacturer to launch a diesel model to meet the stricter EU emissions test procedure.
Manufacturer confidence in the stability of the market is illustrated by the ongoing strength of residual based finance products. As reflected by the size of the monthly payment, the future value of the vehicle being financed is guaranteed at the outset of the agreement. With the vast majority of cars being acquired in this manner, owners are protecting their investment against unplanned depreciation. Furthermore, because the ownership decision is deferred until the end of the agreement, individuals are in a position to make a more informed decision on their motoring future.
The Mercedes-Benz Diesel Changeover Bonus was introduced earlier this year to encourage the move away from older diesel models and to support the introduction of a cleaner range of diesel cars. The scheme is active until the end of the year and offers buyers a huge discount on the sale price if they trade-in an eligible diesel car. Purchasers of a new C-Class Saloon or C-Class Estate, for example, can benefit from up to £7,000 off as a result of the Bonus.
Whilst the diesel debate is ongoing, current and future Mercedes-Benz owners can be reassured by a continued faith in diesel’s place in the marketplace and the commitment of manufacturers to meet stricter emissions guidelines. Leading the way in this movement, every new Mercedes-Benz on sale today meets Euro 6 standards meaning they are exempt from the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone charges. In the premium car sector, there is no doubt that diesel engines have a future.