Denis Gorteman (CEO D’Ieteren): ‘We can guarantee residual value for new diesels’
Denis Gorteman, CEO of Belgian car importer D’Ieteren, is confident that he can guarantee the residual value for customers buying a new diesel car today. “The diesel isn’t dead yet”, he declares.
“Today a diesel car is still consuming some 15% less than an equivalent petrol car and the residual value remains high”, Gorteman states. “I hope there will be a return of common sense. Some of my colleagues drive 40.000 km every year, and at the moment diesel is still the best solution for them.”
“It’s true we sold too much little city diesel cars in the past and sales is declining, but that’s not true for the Passast for instance. Diesel sales stayes at the same level ”
A strange plea for diesel after what happened the last years? “The sector has lived through a real earthquake in 2015”, says Gorteman. “Every manufacturer has to do some serious self-investigation.”
“But now at VW, before we launch a car, we double-check everything is according to standards. We have to rebuild our image and the crisis has cost us a lot of money. That can’t happen twice.”
Changing too hastily
“In my opinion the car sector is changing course too quickly”, Gorteman adds. “I don’t believe in a 100% electric mobility in the future. There is also CNG (compressed natural gas), petrol still can fill in many needs, and diesel is the better solution for heavy transport. Furthermore batteries have their own environmental problems.”
Mercedes announced a new diesel hybrid. Maybe that’s the way to go? “We already did it with the Audi Q7. And Audi won the Le Mans 24 hours with a hybrid TDI. It’s very sensible to use the diesel engine on motorways and the electric one in town. We only need batteries that guarantee a 40 to 50 km range within the city.”
Residual value guaranteed
One of the problems for a potential diesel buyer at the moment is the residual value. Who guarantees the price when he’s trading it in? “There are different forms of guarantee. For individual buyers we offer AutoCredit. It’s a kind of car financing system that guarantees the trade-in price after 3, 4 or 5 years.”
“When after 3 years a client wants to change cars, we guarantee him the price fixed at the beginning of the contract, even when he’s not buying another car”, Gorteman concludes.
“There’s also the private lease solution but in Belgium this is not very popular yet. The Belgian customer prefers to be the owner of his vehicle. 50% of financing arrangements are made by AutoCredit.”
The question still is: what will happen when Germany gets ‘unfriendly’ for diesels. Many old diesels will go to the east and that’s where Belgian diesels (especially from leasing contracts) are going too. If that market gets flooded, prices will inevitably go down. That’s what the leasing/renting sector is afraid off.