U.S. Diesel Sales Increase by 25 Percent in First Half of 2014 | Edmunds

U.S. Diesel Sales Increase by 25 Percent in First Half of 2014


Just the Facts:
  • Sales of clean-diesel vehicles in the first half of 2014 have increased by 25 percent over last year, according to Edmunds data and the Diesel Technology Forum.
  • June 2014 represented the 43rd monthly gain in the past 47 months, with 31 of those months clocking double-digit increases.
  • Volkswagen, a market leader, "has actually had a decline in their proportion of registrations as more players move into the market," said Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds supervisor, pricing and industry analysis.

SANTA MONICA, California Sales of clean-diesel vehicles in the first half of 2014 have increased by 25 percent over last year, according to Edmunds data and the Diesel Technology Forum.

That compares to a 4.2 percent increase in the U.S. car market as a whole.

Diesel sales in 2014 show six consecutive months of increases: +6.8 percent in January, +4.5 percent in February, +39.5 percent in March, +60.4 percent in April, +26.8 percent in May and +8.8 percent in June.

June represented the 43rd monthly gain in the past 47 months, with 31 of those months clocking double-digit increases.

"Sustained and mostly double-digit increases in sales each month over a four-year period prove that U.S. 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.

Based in Washington, D.C., the Diesel Technology Forum is a national nonprofit organization that since the year 2000 has been dedicated to raising awareness on diesel engines, fuel and technology.

The DTF notes that current clean-diesel offerings in the U.S. include 27 models of cars and SUVs, nine vans and 10 pickup trucks. And the organization says we can expect that number to almost double in the next 18 months.

It's interesting that, according to Edmunds data, there has been a rise in sales of diesel-powered luxury vehicles this year, compared to 2013, and a corresponding decline in the proportion of diesel pickup truck sales.

Pickups, which made up 64.4 percent of the U.S. diesel market in 2013 are down to 58.7 percent in the first half of 2014 (-5.7 percent), while luxury cars and SUVs climbed from 8.0 percent of the market last year to 13.4 percent from January to June, 2014 (+5.4 percent).

Clearly, Americans — even those who prefer high-end sedans, coupes and SUVs — are looking to save fuel, and increasingly they're turning to diesel power as a viable option.

Clean-diesel vehicles are about 30 percent more efficient than those with gasoline engines, says the DTF, and the organization believes that automakers will introduce even more diesels to help meet federal fuel-efficiency standards that mandate a 54.5 mpg corporate average by 2025.

A current U.S. clean-diesel front-runner, according to Edmunds data, is Volkswagen, with the Jetta TDI and Passat TDI leading the way at 8.8 percent and 7.9 percent of the market, respectively.

However, notes Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds supervisor, pricing and industry analysis, "Volkswagen has actually had a decline in their proportion of registrations as more players move into the market. They are feeling the pinch from not only the European luxury makes, but also domestic offerings like the Chevrolet Cruze and Jeep Grand Cherokee."

Introduced for the 2014 model year, the Cruze Diesel has grabbed 1.4 percent of the market share, while the equally new Grand Cherokee Diesel has jumped in at 3 percent.

Edmunds statistics show that among other European brands, Audi has upped its share of the U.S. diesel market from 0.2 percent in 2013 to 1.1 percent for the first half of this year, BMW has increased from 1.6 percent to 4.8 percent and Mercedes has held steady at 4.0 percent.

Edmunds says: It seems that diesel technology is gradually moving from a niche market into the mainstream of American power plant options.

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