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Diesel Vehicle Demand Expected to Soar in U.S.

April 14, 2006|From Bloomberg News

The U.S. market share for diesel-powered cars and light trucks will almost quadruple by 2015 as automakers meet fuel-efficiency demands and as state emission rules become uniform, J.D. Power & Associates said Thursday.

Diesel vehicles will account for 11.8% of U.S. sales by 2015, increasing from 3.2% last year, the marketing research firm estimated. The worldwide share for such cars and trucks will rise to 34.2% from 24.7% during the period, according to a J.D. Power study.

In the U.S., "diesels will be able to meet the standards in all 50 states and there's a desire to reduce emissions and concern about dependence on imported oil," said Alastair Bedwell, senior manager at J.D. Power Automotive Forecasting in England.

Some of the early diesel growth in the U.S. will come from BMW, DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen's Audi and Nissan Motor Co., Bedwell said. Current diesel sales in the U.S. are limited mainly to large pickup trucks built by General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. Sales growth has been hindered by a perception that diesels are dirty and noisy and by inconsistent rules among states, Bedwell said.

The regulatory issue will change in 2007 when all states' rules on diesel vehicle emissions will be the same as the tougher standards already enacted by California, said Eric Fedewa, director of global powertrain forecasts at consulting firm CSM Worldwide in Farmington Hills, Mich.

Those standards are slated to be tightened further in 2012.

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