Registrations of diesel-powered vehicles rose over 80 percent from 2000 to 2005, according to a data supplied by R.L. Polk and the Diesel Technology Forum. Where as only about 300,000 buyers registered their new oil-burners in 2001, nearly 550,000 buyers took home a compression-ignition vehicle in 2005.
Since diesel cars are few and far between, it should come as no surprise that the majority of this growth comes from the light truck market, where diesel registrations shot up 95 percent over the five-year period, and over 30 percent last year alone.
When given the option of diesel power, truck consumers will pick it nearly 45 percent of the time. Given the healthy option price of a diesel engine and the minimal incentives required to move such a vehicle off the lot, the manufacturers that are smart enough to provide this option have got to be laughing all the way to the bank.