Diesel models in U.S. will double for 2014 image

The number of diesel models on the U.S. market should double during the 2014 model-year, order according to various industry-watchers, with Nissan, Audi and Chevrolet key to the rapid growth.

The technology is set to get its biggest boost since falling out of favor with American motorists back in the 1980s. This change in mentality is due to not only maintains an estimated 30% mileage advantage over gasoline engines, but also resolves traditional concerns such as noise, roughness and foul-smelling emissions.

This change reflects the return to diesel models by manufacturers like General Motors, the apparition in the game of new manufacturers like Nissan or the expansion of offerings by diesel leaders such as Volkswagen and its luxury arm Audi.

“This year, the number of diesels will be doubled,” said Andreas Sambal, the North American director of marketing for German supplier Bosch’s diesel systems division. “By the end of the 2014 model-year there will be 40 diesels on the market and this will give consumers a lot more choice.”

U.S. buyers largely abandoned the technology in the late 1980s due to endemic problems with earlier diesel designs – and in the wake of major and embarrassing failures of several GM engines.

After Chrysler, which announced plans for a diesel option for the 2014 Ram 1500 pickup just last month, Nissan launched a diesel option for its full-size Titan pickup this week, a first for a Japanese maker. Now, there is speculation GM will soon do the same for its GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado trucks. Chevy already has a diesel option for its 2014 Cruze sedan and Mazda will follow suit with a new version of its Mazda6 sedan, becoming the first Japanese maker with a passenger car diesel in U.S.