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Diesels power BMW's SUVs

Diesel desire: Since its November 2005 launch, the 3.0d turbo-diesel variant comprises of around 60 per cent of all BMW X3 sales.

Pain at the petrol pump pushes BMW’s diesel SUV sales to new heights

29 Sep 2006

DIESEL has been a significant contributor to BMW’s sales growth in Australia this year, with oil-burning variants accounting for some 70 per cent of all X5s sold here and the 3.0d turbo-diesel also comprising around 60 per cent of X3 sales.

That is a reflection of the total SUV market in Australia, where official VFACTS figures show sales of diesels to private buyers are up 2.8 per cent so far this year, while petrol SUV sales to private buyers are down 11.0 per cent.

The diesel shift is also evident in sales of SUVs to non-private (business) buyers, who have purchased 2.5 per cent more diesels and 7.9 per cent fewer petrol SUVs so far in 2006.

Recently introduced diesel versions of the 1 Series hatch, 3 Series sedan and 5 Series sedan also now comprise between 10 and 15 per cent of their respective model sales – in line with the overall market experience, which to August this year shows diesel passenger car sales to private buyers are up 117.5 per cent on 2005 figures.

Up a massive 191.4 per cent for non-private purchasers so far in 2006 (and a staggering 350.8 per cent in August), diesel passenger car sales have doubled this year for private buyers and almost tripled for non-private buyers.

But while they account for about a fifth of private SUV sales and a third of non-private SUV sales, diesels comprise just three per cent of private passenger car sales and less than two per cent of non-private passenger car buyers.

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