The growing trend towards diesel-powered luxury vehicles has intensified according to the latest BMW sales figures and the trend could continue as a result of recent tax changes. This year 4,055 BMW customers opted for a sporty BMW diesel, representing a 65 per cent increase compared to the same period last year (2007 Sept YTD: 2,457 vehicles).

As a result, the proportion of diesel buyers has also grown from 19.6 per cent to 30.6 per cent of all BMW sales.

The trend continued last month with 31.4 per cent of all BMW customers taking delivery of a diesel powered BMW.

Guenther Seemann, Managing Director of BMW Group Australia, says Australian buyers recognise the benefits of sporty BMW diesels.

"Our high-performance diesels offer low emissions, low consumption and the benefit of far greater torque to deliver a typically dynamic BMW driving experience," he said.

Seemann predicts Australian customers will continue their burgeoning love affair despite the higher pump price for diesel.

"Even with a 30 cent price differential for diesel at the pump, a customer who purchases a 530d and travels 15,000 km in the course of a year will still spend less on fuel than their petrol counterpart in a 530i.

"Given that some diesel models will now be subject to less tax, due to the change in the Luxury Car Tax, diesel sales will continue their rise in the short to medium term," he said.

Seemann also predicts the new tax landscape will encourage premium manufacturers to continue to roll out more new diesel models which are incredibly frugal yet deliver outstanding performance.

"The newly unveiled six-cylinder BMW 330d, boasting 180 kW and 520 Newton metres of torque, yet consuming 6.8 litres per 100 kilometres is now under serious consideration for Australia," he said.

BMW currently offers nine diesel models in Australia across the following series: 1 Series Hatch; 3 Series Sedan; 5 Series Sedan; X3 Sports Activity Vehicle; X5 Sports Activity Vehicle; and, X6 Sports Activity Coupé.

Within these model ranges, diesel sales account for, on average, 40 per cent of all deliveries.