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July 20, 2020   |

Press Release

Diesel Options Gaining Market Share in Pickup Trucks - Q2 2020

July 20, 2020 (WASHINGTON, DC) - Diesel engine options in both full-size and commercial pickup trucks are earning an increasing vote of acceptance from consumers, according to the most recent quarterly sales data and analysis. 

“According to analysis of second quarter sales data, advanced diesels in full-size trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) were up from 0.6 percent in 2019 to 1.0 percent of total sales so far in 2020, while in the commercial diesel model segment (Class 2 and 3 vehicles) sales are up to 3.4 percent YTD 2020 from 2.2 percent in 2019.

“While percentages may be small and reflect the dramatically pandemic-altered 2020 market, directionally they do reinforce that diesels are a desirable option for half-ton pickups, and a consistent choice for commercial users.  Now more than ever, buyers are seeking a proven, no-compromise vehicle experience, delivering the combination of power, performance, driving range, towing capability and more fuel efficiency, all in a larger vehicle, and that’s what they get in choosing a diesel engine option,” said Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum, a not-for-profit association representing manufacturers of diesel engines and equipment, key suppliers of emissions control and other technologies and fuel producers.

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 have reduced overall sales, that in June were down over 25 percent from a year ago, with sales down just under 25 percent year-to-date.  For June and year-to-date, plug in, full battery electric, and fuel cell vehicles trailed the overall market, while diesels and hybrids did far better than the overall market. Sales data and analysis are supplied by Alan Baum, Baum & Associates.

“Since 1980, full-size pickup trucks have held the ranking as the most popular, highest selling vehicles in the U.S. for American families and businesses alike that underscores the tremendous fuel-saving opportunity as more choose a diesel option,” said Schaeffer.  “According to recent research from IHS Markit commissioned by the Diesel Technology Forum, consumers choosing a diesel engine option in full-size half-ton pickup trucks can achieve on average 33 percent more miles per gallon (24 mpg diesel vs. 18.1 gasoline, combined fuel economy), saving about 200 gallons of gasoline every year. If all full-size pickup trucks in the U.S. were to be powered by a diesel engine, the research found that we would realize a savings of ~500 million gallons of fuel for one model year.

“Among the choices, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and the Chevy Silverado 1500 Duramax diesel, already have impressive recognition and industry awards under their belt.  And rounding out the lineup of new diesel options in pickup trucks coming later in 2020 is an all new for 2021 Jeep Gladiator with the 3.0L EcoDiesel option.

“Second only to full-size pickup trucks, SUVs are the most popular and fastest growing vehicle segment in the U.S., so the availability of more fuel-efficient diesel engine options is welcome news.  In this segment, 2020 will get a boost later this year as five exciting new diesel options for consumers in popular SUVs with recent announcements by General Motors’ Chevrolet and GMC divisions of the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban and Chevrolet Tahoe, and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, and Cadillac Escalade.  All new products will offer the all-new 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel engine option that already has some impressive accomplishments in the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup truck where the Duramax diesel posted EPA highway fuel economy performance of a record 33 mpg for a half-ton truck.  In addition to the Gladiator, Jeep also debuts the 3.0L EcoDiesel option in its iconic and popular Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon in 2020, achieving an EPA rated 29 mpg in highway driving.    

“American consumers are increasingly interested in the eco-performance of their vehicles and choosing a more-efficient diesel engine opens up even more possibilities such as the ability to use high-quality advanced biofuels, including biodiesel and renewable diesel fuel.  By doing so this further lowers the vehicle carbon footprint, beyond the fuel efficiency advantage over gasoline.  Advanced biofuels like renewable diesel fuel and blends of high-quality biodiesel add an important dimension to the diesel offering; one that boosts sustainability of a personal vehicle choice.”    

All told, there are nearly 50 diesel-powered choices for American consumers in 2020.  Current diesel offerings range from light-duty and heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans to sport utility vehicles.  More details on alternative-power vehicle sales in the United States are available at the Forum’s newest resource, the U.S. Vehicle Sales Dashboard.  Sales data and analysis supplied by Alan Baum, Baum & Associates, and is subject to change, pending new updates and select data availability for some models and markets. 

Leading manufacturers with diesel engine options available include:

Leading advanced renewable biofuel producers and resources:

Members of the Diesel Technology Forum are the leaders in advanced technology engines, components vehicles, fuels, and equipment, both diesel and a range of alternative fuels, including electrification, hydrogen, natural gas, and others.

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About the Diesel Technology Forum
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020, the Diesel Technology Forum is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel, and technology. Forum members are leaders in advanced engines, vehicles and equipment, cleaner diesel and renewable biofuels and emissions-control systems. For more information visit https://www.dieselforum.org/.

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Media Inquiries:
Allen Schaeffer
Executive Director
(301) 668-7230

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