GM and Chrysler add diesels to their US vehicles, although customers look for hybrids and gasoline engines.
Customers begin to turn their backs on diesel-powered vehicles, which cost thousands of dollars more if compared with gas vehicles. Diesel-powered vehicles have been surpassed in fuel efficiency, pulling power and costs.
“There is quite a competitive landscape today, compared to what it was five or 10 years ago,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the nonprofit Diesel Technology Forum.
GM and Chrysler stick to their plan to add more diesels, while Toyota, Ford and Hyundai turned to the more profitable and looked for fuel-efficient gas engines and hybrids. No matter what their strategy is, all automaker struggle to find solutions to meet the federal fuel efficiency standards.
“There’s no doubt the advancement in gasoline technology has improved and that has, in some respect, slowed down diesel options from OEMs,” Tony Schultz, vice president of the Americas for Turbo Technologies.
In 2012 sales of diesel vehicles in the US increased 25%, accounting for only 2.7% of new-car sales, according to Edmunds.com, while hybrids surpassed diesels, accounting for almost 3%. If until now diesels have been known as offering better torque, gas engines are quickly coming from behind. For example, Ford’s new 1-liter EcoBoost engine, which combines turbocharging, direct-injection and twin independent variable-camshaft timing, offers 147 foot-pounds of torque.