WASHINGTON – Auto makers are rolling out 22 additional diesel-powered light vehicles in the U.S. market this year, bringing the total to 42, says Andreas Sambel, director-diesel marketing for Bosch Automotive.
By 2017, U.S. car buyers will have a choice of 54 diesel-powered vehicles to choose from, Sambel tells WardsAuto at the Washington Auto Show. “And by 2018, diesels will account for 10% of the market,” he says, estimating total LV sales at 17.8 million units that year.
That still will be well below the current 50% diesel take rate in Europe. “But in models where diesels are available in passenger cars and SUVs, the take rate for diesels is 30%,” he says.
Most diesels in the U.S. are available in German car brands and Detroit Three pickup trucks. Audi, for instance, is bringing four new diesel models to market.
However, General Motors is bringing a Chevrolet Cruze diesel to market this year, Chrysler is planning a diesel-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee and Mazda will introduce a diesel Mazda6 model for ’14.
The Bosch executive says the payback period for diesels can be reached in as little as 18 months.
Diesel sales will continue to grow despite the increase in direct-injection gasoline applications, Sambel says, noting about 25% of today's vehicles offer DI powerplants.
What’s new is that diesel fuel economy may be enhanced by the use of stop/start systems already available in Europe on some models, he says. Diesel hybrid cars also can be an attractive package for car buyers interested in boosting fuel economy.