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U.S. Clean Diesel Auto Sales Increase 41% in August 2013, Hybrid Sales Jump 38%
September 11, 2013 // Diesel Technology Forum
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Contact: Steve Hansen (301) 668-7230 shansen@dieselforum.org

Washington, D.C. – August was a robust month for passenger vehicle sales in the United States and clean diesel and hybrid cars were no exception, with diesels showing a 41.8 percent increase compared to August 2012 and hybrids experiencing a 38.1 percent increase, according to data compiled by Hybrid Cars.com and Baum and Associates.

The overall U.S. car market registered a 17.0 percent increase in August 2013 compared to August 2012.

For clean diesels, August’s 41.8 percent increase was preceded by a 38.1 percent in July 2013 over July 2012. It was the 32nd monthly increase in diesel car sales in the past 36 months, with 27 of those months registering double-digit increases.

“This new sales information illustrates that Americans are not only accepting but embracing alternative fuel and new technology vehicles in record numbers,” said Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum. “While there has been steady growth in both the clean diesel and hybrid markets over the past three years, this summer’s diesel and hybrid sales have been exceptional.”

U.S. Summer Clean Diesel & Hybrid Car Sales

Vs. 2012 Monthly Sales    August 2013    July 2013    June 2013    2013 vs. 2012

*Clean Diesels                  +41.8%            +38.1%       +10.3%      + 8.9%

Hybrids                              +38.1%            +43.9%      +30.0%       +23.9%

Overall Market                  +17.0%            + 2.2%         + 9.1%       + 9.6%

*(Diesel car and SUV markets only - does not include light duty pickup trucks or vans.)

(Source: Hybrid Cars.com and Baum and Associates)

This follows data compiled by R.L. Polk and Company for the Diesel Technology Forum earlier this year that showed clean diesel vehicle registrations in the U.S. had increased by more than 24 percent from 2010 through 2012, with hybrids increasing by 33 percent.

Clean Diesel Vehicles Sales Projected To Continue Growth In U.S.

“The introduction of new diesels in the U.S. market is contributing to this summer’s sales surge and virtually every market analyst projects that diesel sales will increase even more significantly as additional diesels enter the U.S. market in the coming months,” Schaeffer said. “While clean diesel cars make up about one percent of the total U.S. vehicle market, the diesel share increases to over three percent when pickup trucks and vans are included.

“While this is significantly less than the 54 percent diesel sales rate in Europe, it does indicate that Americans are taking a renewed interest in diesels.

“And this interest is expected to increase significantly in the next few years. There are currently 17 diesel cars, eight diesel pickup trucks and six diesel vans available in the U.S. At least 19 new diesels are scheduled to be introduced in the U.S. market in the next two years,” Schaeffer said.

New Federal Mileage Regulations Will Further Increase Diesel Car Sales

Schaeffer said with higher and fluctuating fuel prices, Americans are seeking more fuel efficient cars. In addition, he said the new federal fuel efficiency standards that will require a 54.5 mpg average by 2025 will also boost clean diesel auto sales, as diesel cars are 20 to 40 more fuel efficient than gasoline versions.

“This is an exciting time for the diesel automakers and drivers as various auto analysts estimate clean diesel car and pickup truck sales will reach 8 to 10 percent of the total U.S. market by 2018,” Schaeffer said.

(See a list and mpg information on all Clean Diesels available in the U.S. and a list of new diesels coming to the U.S. market.)

New Technology Car Sales Break 5% Level in U.S.

Schaeffer said the new data also showed that the combined hybrid, diesel, and plug in vehicle sales exceeded five percent of the total U.S. market in July - the first time alternative vehicles had broken the five percent barrier, according to Hybrid Cars.com.

August 2013 Market Percentage

Vehicle                 Market Percentage         Vehicles

Hybrids                         3.54%                      47

*Clean Diesels             1.07%                      21

Electric Plug-ins           0.76%                      15

CNG                               0.01%                       1

*(Diesel car and SUV markets only - does not include light duty pickup trucks or vans.)

(Source: Hybrid Cars.com and Baum and Associates)

While the clean diesel market share is 1.07 percent, the “take rate” – the percentage of people who choose diesels when they have the option between similar diesel and gasoline vehicles – is now an impressive 30 percent in the U.S., Schaeffer said. 

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For the latest insights and information from the leaders in clean diesel technology, join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @DieselTechForum, or YouTube @DieselTechForum and connect with us on LinkedIn. Get it all by subscribing to Diesel Direct, (email us: dtf@dieselforum.org) for a monthly wrap-up of clean diesel news, events, policy analysis and more direct to your inbox.

ABOUT THE DIESEL TECHNOLOGY FORUM

The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit national organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology. Forum members are leaders in clean diesel technology and represent the three key elements of the modern clean-diesel system: advanced engines, vehicles and equipment, cleaner diesel fuel and emissions-control systems. For more information visit www.dieselforum.org.

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Today's clean diesel heavy-duty trucks are 98 percent cleaner than those made 10 years ago.