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January 08, 2019   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

Not Down and Definitely Not Out

Think diesel is out of the U.S. passenger vehicle market? Think again.

Think diesel is out of the U.S. passenger vehicle market? Think again. The latest numbers show more than 50,000 more customers bought a diesel last year over 2017. While all the hype is around battery electric cars – they’re up over 100 percent - diesel is up too.

In 2018, more consumers chose a diesel car or truck than in 2017. Sales of light-duty diesel cars and SUVs are up 9 percent while bigger diesel pickups are almost 13 percent. That works out to more than 50,000 diesel cars, SUVs and pickups sold in 2018 over the previous year.  More and more consumers understand the value of diesel – superior fuel economy without sacrificing performance.

The big headline catcher was Tesla with almost 140,000 Model S sedans sold by the end of December. While that is impressive for an upstart company with an upstart technology, it’s no match for the 163,000 Ford diesel F-series pickups sold last year. When looking at the entirety of the fleet that includes heavy-duty pickup trucks, diesel sales outnumber battery electrics by 2 to 1 throughout 2018.

Not only is that good for the customers that choose a diesel option but it also helps reduce fuel consumptions and C02 emissions. According to research commissioned by the Diesel Technology Forum, if every full size pickup sold were diesel, 500 million gallons of fuel could be displaced while generating the same emissions reductions as 15 percent of all U.S. passenger vehicles switching to battery electric overnight.

Are you curious how 2019 will fare for the diesel car market? Be sure to read next week’s edition that will feature insights from a Detroit insider.



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Ezra Finkin
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