At the Brisbane Motor Show, which started on Friday, a host of car manufacturers had fuel-efficient diesel models on display including GM Holden, Mazda, Renault, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Ford, Audi, Saab, SsangYong, Toyota, Hyundai, BMW, Peugeot, Citroen, and Volkswagen (may have missed one in there). Many of the displays made diesel a key focus to demonstrate improved fuel economy to an Australian market which has shifted away from full-sized sedans to smaller, medium and compact vehicles in the last two years as fuel prices have risen.
As expected, the European manufacturers have led the way with the introduction of diesel passenger cars since Australia's diesel fuel standard was improved sufficiently enough to work correctly in the latest generation diesel passenger engines. Holden did have their Astra diesel and Mazda had their Mazda 6 sedan diesel on display as well however. Soft off-roaders running on diesel included the Hyundai Santa Fe and the upcoming SsangYong Actyon Sports.
Analysis: Hyundai markets their Santa Fe as "Australia's most fuel efficient SUV", while Ford had signage up reinforcing their commitment to diesel and almost Renault's entire display was focused on diesel's benefits. Fuel economy has become a critical selling factor in the last few years and the auto makers are certainly responding.