Over the last several years, we've heard a lot of excuses from many auto executives as to why their companies aren't offering diesel engines in their American market cars. Yesterday, General Motors' Mark LaNeve, the company's vice president of sales and marketing, made an appearance on C-SPAN's Washington Journal. The final question of the segment came from a viewer wondering why GM has failed to offer U.S. consumers the chance to buy some of the high-mileage diesel cars it offers in Europe.

It would appear that LaNeve might have done better to take a pass on the question. Instead of talking about the cost of making those diesels meet U.S. emissions regulations or the difficulty in helping Americans overcome the misconceptions about the fuel, he claimed that no one has successfully cracked the diesel passenger nut in the U.S. (which based on VW's May sales appears to be wrong). More startlingly, LaNeve went on to claim that diesel is $1.25 a gallon more expensive than gasoline. According to the Energy Information Agency, the national average for diesel this week is $2.35 / gallon while regular gas is $2.52 or $0.17 more than diesel. Admittedly, the fact that diesel is now cheaper than 87 octane gas is a recent development (a trend that nobody is sure how long it will last), but – going on national television and quoting outdated fuel prices as a reason for your bankrupt company's business decisions... well, that doesn't strike us as a terribly hot idea.

You can hear the question and response at 20:30 into the video replay over at C-SPAN.

[Source: C-SPAN]