Battery technology may be generating the headlines but diesels appear to be grabbing the buyers.
U.S. diesel sales grew by more than 27% last year and could post another big jump in 2012, industry officials forecast, with a number of makers adding the high-mileage technology to their line-ups. Among those who are planning to add diesels to their line-up this year are Chrysler, General Motors and Porsche, while other makers, including Nissan, could follow.
“Without a doubt, 2011 was a key year for the industry’s effort to reestablish clean diesel automobiles in the United States,” said Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.
Overall, diesels accounted for more than 3% of the U.S. automotive market last year, with all battery-electric, plug-in and conventional hybrid models combined generating just over 2%.
The diesel market can loosely be divided into two distinct segments: pickup trucks making up the largest, though passenger cars, SUVs and crossovers are rapidly gaining new converts, the data suggest.