DIESELS VS. HYBRIDS A 2014 ISSUE
The diesel hybrid tussle opens the new calendar year with German automakers claiming an edge as their vehicles top the 100,000 mark on the U. S. market for calendar 2013.
Analysts who in recent years have written off the growth of diesel powerplants among Americans now are forecasting steady increases in U.S. sales of VW’s dieselized Golf, Jetta and Passat cars.
VW’s exhibits at current auto shows – Los Angeles, Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago, all have been tailored to boost mileage-per-gallon averages. Show crowds have applauded diesel and hybrid displays with greater enthusiasm than in the past, raising questions on how much MPGs would improve with diesel engines and whether they would be quieter and faster on the latest models.
Without the built-in glitches of diesels of yesteryear, and with their current availability to entry-level buyers, diesel engines are definite show crowd pleasers.
What’s more, the 2014 exhibits nearly all were equipped with diesel fuel pumps alongside their electric charger stations.
GM and Ford are responding to VW diesel demand with small cars of their own, such as on the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Fiesta, Toyota Corolla and Audi A3. As to prices, reduced prices for diesel fuel can be $2K or $3K lower, pleasing members of the “diesel cult” and truckers no end. From the days of priciness and odor, as fans encircle diesel displays VW has wasted no time in marketing diesel Passats, Golfs and Audis, encouraged by the surge in “dieselphilia” abetted by turbochargers and proximity of diesel pumps at the corner Shell station.
VW execs consider a 2nd 100,000 sales year to be a “diesel slam dunk” on the U. S. market!
Topping VW’s 2015-model lineup are the Touareg/Touring SUVs, a V-6 diesel, and the Tiguan, a less costly sedan. The Audi Q7 is the VW groups flagship, priced from $49,000 to $62,000, sharing the V-6 diesel engine.