Frank Klegon on Chrysler's diesel future

Over on the new Chrysler Blog, Product Development boss Frank Klegon has put up a post about diesels at Chrysler. Chrysler has said on several occasions that they expect diesels to eventually make up fifteen percent of the US market over the next decade, a figure comparable to what they expect for hybrids. Now that Chrysler is independent again, they intend to continue working with Mercedes-Benz on diesel systems, including the BlueTec after-treatment technologies.
The latest heavy duty Ram pickups are already compliant with 2010 Tier 2 Bin 5 standards for all fifty states. A new fifty-state legal Cummins diesel V-8 is also being introduced for the light duty trucks in 2010. Next year for the 2009 model year the Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel is being upgraded with BlueTec to also make it fifty-state compliant. All the rest of Chrysler's models that get overseas sales are already engineered for diesel installations and if diesel sales take off in the US they may bring those models here as well.

The biggest issue Klegon sees is getting people to accept the idea of a $5,000 premium for diesels, particularly clean diesels. A recent J.D. Power survey indicated that the number Americans willing to consider a diesel had doubled. Unfortunately they only indicated a willingness to pay $1,500 for the more efficient engine.

[Source: Chrysler]

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