Facing stricter fuel emissions standards, automakers in the U.S. have made a concerted effort to offer more and better hybrids and electric cars.
They’ve also resorted to an older technology that’s just as foreign to many Americans: diesel.
Diesel-powered cars rightly earned a bad reputation in the U.S. in the 1980s (blame GM’s terrible Oldsmobiles), but today’s engines aren’t smelly, dirty, or loud. Few people would be able to differentiate between a diesel- and gasoline-powered car on the street.
But everyone would notice the huge jump in fuel efficiency over the standard gasoline car, and even over some hybrids if you do a lot of highway driving.
Automakers like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volkswagen, and General Motors have pushed more diesel models over the past year, and the plan is working — at least for VW.
The automaker announced today it has sold 100,000 VW and Audi diesel vehicles in the U.S. in 2013, the first time it’s hit that mark in a calendar year.
Those sales, of 12 different models, count for over 75% of diesel passenger car sales in the country.
Through November, VW had sold a total of 557,000 cars to U.S. customers in 2013.
“The past year has shown that American consumers clearly recognise the benefits of clean diesel TDI vehicles,” said Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America, said in a press release.
We expect that trend to continue. We’ve loved the diesel offerings from Audi and BMW we’ve tested, and think American car shoppers will too.
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