Diesel-powered vehicle sales are up, indicating that Americans might finally be warming to them, a new study finds.
Sales have trended up right along with fuel prices. Even though diesel fuel costs more than gasoline, drivers get up to 40% better mileage.
Sales were up in January, February and March of this year, finds the joint report from Hybridcars.com and research company Baum and Associates. Compared with last year’s numbers, January sales were up 21.2%, February saw a 42.9% increase and March sales increased 39.6%.
“This 35% increase in clean-diesel auto sales during the first quarter of 2012 is a continuation of the 27% sales jump in 2011,” Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, said in a statement.
The study’s authors expect diesel auto sales to continue to increase as several new vehicles get the clean, efficient powertrains. They will include Chevrolet Cruze next year and the Volkswagen Beetle. Here are other candidates:
Audi: Audi A6, A8 and Q5 TDIs.
Chrysler: Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Ford: Transit commercial van.
General Motors: Cadillac ATS, Chevrolet Cruze.
Mazda: vehicles unknown, but the automaker announced that its Skyactiv-D 2.2-liter diesel engine will hit the market soon.
Mercedes-Benz: BlueTEC versions of the S-Class, GLK-Class and C-Class.