Newfound acceptance of diesel-fueled vehicles in the U.S. is slowly convincing some automakers to crank up the number of oil-burning models headed here. Audi, along with parent company Volkswagen, has made it clear that more U.S.-bound diesel models are in the works. Recently, even Mercedes-Benz admitted that U.S. demand for diesel is growing, and the German automaker will respond by offering eight oil-burning models by 2014, one of is the S-Class diesel flagship that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show.
Automotive News points to a 2010 study conducted by the trade group Diesel Technology Forum that suggests that our growing fondness for diesel vehicles is being driven by:
However, we tend to think that the words of Mercedes-Benz product management vice president, Philipp Schiemer, sum up the U.S.' diesel situation exceedingly well:The widespread introduction of ultra-low-sulfur diesel in 2006 and components to filter out soot and remove smog-causing nitrogen oxides from emissions spurred German carmakers' effort to sell Americans on the technology. The fuel's availability has also improved, with 52 percent of U.S. stations offering diesel in 2007 compared with 35 percent in 1997.
We don't have to push diesel anymore. Our expansion is being driven by customer demand. The customers who have tried diesel don't want to switch back.