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March 26, 2018   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

Diesel Sales Growth is Any Which Way but Down

Diesel’s continued presence in the U.S. car market after the VW scandal should send a strong signal to diesel’s naysayers that it has a rosy future in the U.S.

For car enthusiasts and auto writers, all eyes are focused on the New York International Auto Show this week. Domestic and global auto manufacturers will be displaying new models hitting showrooms this year. Of the many new features on display just may be a diesel as more manufacturers announced that a diesel will be offered in more models this year. Almost 95,000 diesel-powered cars, SUVs, vans and pickup trucks were sold in the U.S. last year; a solid statement by consumers about the desirability of clean diesel for their next vehicle. Recent announcements from leading manufacturers send a clear signal that diesel’s future is strong.

Here’s just a sampling of the recent announcements:

Los Angeles Auto Show, December. 2017:

North American International Auto Show, January 2018:

 Chicago Auto Show, February 2018:

These announcements already add to the diesel models currently available.  One of diesel’s strengths in the North American market is the variety of vehicle types that are offered with a diesel powertrain. More American car buyers are choosing SUVs and trucks. More diesels are offered in these vehicle types than are offered in competing efficient powertrains like battery-electrics and plug-in hybrids. In fact, America’s best selling passenger vehicle – the Ford F-150 – will come with a diesel option next model year. A hybrid or battery-electric is not offered. Even Hyundai and Kia announced a plan to bring diesel SUVs to the U.S., sending a strong signal that manufacturers think there’s consumer appetite here for efficient, low-emission vehicles that can compete with other powertrains. 

Today’s new generation of clean diesel technology offers better fuel economy, better performance and less greenhouse gas emissions for both heavy-duty and passenger vehicles and that translates into fuel savings, cleaner air and energy security. Cleaner diesel fuel, advanced engines and effective emissions control make up a new generation of diesel.

Diesel has a bright future in the U.S. passenger vehicle market as car buyers will have more diesel options in the types of vehicles consumers prefer. 



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Ezra Finkin
Director, Policy

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