US: diesel sales go up as hybrid demand declines image

The automotive market in the US is definitely more unconventional than its buyers would admit, as the post-crisis recovery is still led by big hulking gas guzzling pickup trucks and crossovers.

In other parts of the world, many buyers usually opt for smaller family hatchbacks or sedans, equipped with diesel engines or small, turbocharged gasoline engines. But in the vastness of the US automotive recovery – led by cars like the Ford F-150 and others like it – there’s a glimpse of change.

Volkswagen for instance – although its sales are on a downwards spiral – leads the pack when it comes to the US market revival of the diesel engine. The latter system was set aside some years ago for being noisy, smelly and generally unrefined. But that’s all history – as numerous automakers join the modern diesel ranks.

“Sustained and mostly double-digit increases in sales each month over a four year period prove that US consumers are embracing the benefits of clean diesel technology and its proven, high fuel efficiency, great driving performance, and long-term value,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

The sales for the first half of the year show a 25% jump year-over-year in diesel deliveries, while hybrid cars actually posted a 9.7% slip. In June, the tally was even worse for the latter, with a 12.7% dip. Now, diesel and hybrid sales are mostly even, but many analysts predict the latter to be overcome by the introduction of many new diesel models.