Mercedes diesel hits hurdles in three new states, temporarily

Although Mercedes-Benz USA is still committed to diesels in all 50 states, it has had to accept the bad with the good. As the model year has rolled into 2008, they have lost three more states to the "no diesel" pack. That's because Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Rhode Island joined the 5 other states using California's stricter emissions standards that rule the Benz diesel out. But this is a short term setback for M-B. As soon as the new generation of diesels rolls out, Mercedes should have full 50-state compliance.

In about a year, the newest Bluetec ML320 CDI will arrive and be able to meet even California's emissions regulations. The diesel E-Class will continue as a 42-state model until it too receives the advanced Bluetec system. Whether or not Mercedes will figure out a way to keep the diesel premium down around $1,000 per vehicle is another potential stumbling block for the German automaker. Rumor has it this new Bluetec costs a lot more to produce and Mercedes-Benz might have to subsidize the diesels to keep them competitive pricewise.

[Source: Edmunds Auto Observer]

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