What is Clean Diesel?

Share This Page

September 12, 2011   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Press Release

U.S. Clean Diesel Automobile Sales Are Up 37 Percent Over 2010

Contact: Steve Hansen (301) 668-7230 shansen@dieselforum.org

“The positive monthly diesel sales increases in the U.S. and the new higher federal fuel efficiency requirements are both positives signs for the future growth of clean diesel sales.” – Allen Schaeffer, Diesel Technology Forum

Washington, D.C. – The 20.4 percent increase in clean diesel automobile sales in August continued the strong growth of diesel car sales in the United States during 2011, according to Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

For the year, domestic diesel auto sales have increased by an impressive 37.0 percent over 2010 compared to the overall auto market’s 10.4 percent increase.

The August 2011 clean diesel auto sales statistics compiled by HybridCars.Com and market analyst Baum and Associates show that diesel cars sales increased by 20.4 percent over August 2010. As a comparison, the overall U.S. auto market was up 7.5 percent in August.

“The steady increase in clean diesel auto sales is a reflection of the U.S. public’s shift toward clean and more fuel efficient vehicles,” Schaeffer said. “With the increased fuel prices over the past year and the government’s new fuel efficiency standards, American drivers are seeing that clean diesel cars are the best option for reliable green transportation.

“Because diesel cars are 20 to 40 more fuel efficient than comparable gasoline autos many auto analysts project significant diesel growth over the next several years.”

Clean Diesel 2011 Sales in U.S. Show Strong Growth Over 2010

For the past 13 months, clean diesel auto sales have increased each month over the previous year according to HybridCars.Com Market Dashboard statistics. (Each month’s sales statistics are measured against the same month in the previous year. Hybrid sales since April 2011 have decreased primarily due to the major production and distribution problems caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disasters in Japan.)

Month                     Clean Diesel +/-      Hybrids +/-       Overall Market +/-

Aug. 2011               +20.4%                    (-11.8%)                +7.5%

July 2011                +43.7%                    (-17.7%)                +0.9%

June 2011               +25.7%                    (-41.4%)                +7.1%

May 2011                +33.8%                    (-42.1%)                (-3.9%)

April 2011                +42.2%                    +4.8%                   +17.7%

March 2011             +36.3%                     +46.4%                 +16.8%

February 2011         +37.5%                     +39.0%                 +27.2%

January 2011          +59.5%                     +12.1%                 +17.2%

December 2010       +18.6%                     +12.7%                 +11.1%

November 2010       +30.0%                     +2.7%                   +16.9%

October 2010          +44.6%                     (-1.6%)                  +13.4%

September 2010     +124.1%                   +10.7%                  +28.4%

August 2010            +52.8%                    (-38.3%)                (-21.0%)

U.S. Clean Diesel Overall Market Sales Projected To Reach 7.4 Percent By 2017

By 2015, Baum and Associates expects diesel car sales to grow to 6.0 to 6.5 percent of the entire U.S. market, compared to just over 3.0 percent today. The research firm J.D. Power & Associates sees the U.S. diesel market share growing steadily to 7.4 percent by 2017.

Schaeffer said fuel-efficient clean diesel technology is expected to play an expanded role in meeting the 54.5 mpg fuel economy standards by 2025, as mandated by the new greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency regulations announced by EPA this summer.

“While almost 50 percent of all cars in Europe are diesel-powered, slightly more than three percent of cars and light trucks in the U.S. are diesels,” Schaeffer said. “But the positive monthly diesel sales increases in the U.S. and the new higher federal fuel efficiency requirements are both positives signs for the future growth of clean diesel sales.

Chevrolet, Mazda, Mercedes & Volkswagen Will Increase Diesel Availability in U.S.

“There are currently 16 cars, trucks or SUVs with a clean diesel engine available in the United States but this number will be increasing,” Schaeffer said. “New diesel entries into the U.S. market will be the hot-selling Chevrolet Cruze available in 2013, according to General Motors. And Mazda also announced that its SKY-D clean diesel engine will be available here in the 2013 timeframe as a new option in one or more vehicles.

“In addition, Volkswagen has recently opened its new manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, TN and will produce a significant number of new clean diesel Passat TDI vehicles - as much as 30 percent when at full production. And the S350 BlueTEC marks the return of the diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz S-Class to the United States after a 17-year absence.

“While most auto makers have clean diesel autos on the market in Europe, Asia and Australia, there are rumors that even more diesels are on their way to the U.S. market,” Schaeffer said.


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.


All News & Resources

Key Contact

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

More Press Releases

Sign up for diesel direct

weekly analysis & commentary from the diesel technology forum