The downward pressures on consumer demand for diesel cars are at a critical level, according to author and car industry expert James Dillon.
He advises independent repair businesses to start to retool and reskill to meet the demands of the low emissions era.
Writing in the IMI Magazine this month, James Dillon discusses several factors he believes will tip the balance against diesel vehicles in the immediate future.
Tip of the iceberg
These include growing concerns by the public and Government over dangerous air pollution, and the emergence of other manufacturers being scrutinised for attempting to cheat diesel emissions tests following the VW scandal.
These are both high on the list of issues affecting the reputation of diesel, but this is just the tip of the iceberg looming on diesel’s horizon according to Dillon.
The spiralling costs to manufacturers of meeting the increasingly demanding emissions regulations are the sharpest nail in diesel’s coffin.
“From a technological perspective, diesel emission control technology is out-of-bounds of the cost/benefit envelope,” he said.
Author, trainer and founder of diagnostic training company Technical Topics, James Dillon acknowledges that the hard sell by governments on diesel in the past has kept demand high up to now and has proved hard to reverse.
However, Dillon predicts that government proposals like the 2017 VED changes, the potential for a more stringent emissions test on the MOT, and the hint of a scrappage scheme, will all hit demand for diesel.
He expects diesel will be replaced by the wholesale uptake of hybrid and electric cars in the future.
Prepare for the power shift
James Dillon said: “Aftermarket garages should prepare for the potential shift in automotive power sources.
“Upskilling to be able to service and repair hybrids and EVs should be on every repairer’s medium term plan.
“Technical training, business processes, tools and equipment all warrant investigation.
“As a result of the technology merry-go-round, we’ll see garages who once said ‘we don’t do engine management’, and then said ‘we don’t do diesels’ who are now saying ‘we don’t do hybrids’ change in order to adapt to the times and technology and to remain in business.”
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