Diesel sales rose 27 percent in the U.S. last year image

Sales of new cars fitted with diesel engines increased by an impressive 27.4 percent in 2011 over the previous year, according to a report from HybridCars.com and market research firm Baum and Associates.

„Without a doubt, 2011 was a key year for the industry’s effort to reestablish clean diesel automobiles in the United States. This 27 percent increase in annual sales is a strong sign that American drivers are understanding the benefits of new clean diesel technology in terms of better fuel efficiency and reduced emissions,” said Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

According to Schaeffer, clean diesel auto sales will increase even further as new models will be introduced in the U.S. market in the next two years. He also thinks sales will be boosted by the new federal fuel efficiency standards. The required 54.5 mpg average by 2025 will favor diesel engines, which are 20 to 40 more fuel efficient than their gasoline counterparts.

New diesel models to be introduced in the U.S. are the Jeep Grand Cherokee (2013-2014), Porsche Cayenne (2012), Chevrolet Cruze (2013), Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTEC (2012) and the Cadillac ATS (in the near future). In addition, Mazda will be the first Asian carmaker to sell diesel cars in the U.S. when it introduces its SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter clean diesel engine later this year.