New Koda Fabia Illustrates Diesel's Decline

new koda fabia illustrates diesels decline

It used to be that Europeans could get diesel for a lot less Euros than regular petrol/gas. Combined with increased fuel economy, consumers had every incentive to pony-up for the oil burning engine. Now that the cost of diesel has increased substantially, and thanks to direct injection, turbocharging, and other high tech features; gas engines are regaining lost territory. (TTAC's Paul Neidermeyer is on record saying gas, not diesel, is the future.) A sign of the times: the hot Skoda Fabia– currently a 1.9 liter 130 horsepower turbodiesel praised by no less than Jeremy Clarkson— is ditching diesel. The next gen vRS model will shelter VW's twincharger turbo and supercharged 1.4-liter unit, with an estimated 174 horses. Unfortunately, it likely cannot match the old model's 228 lb ft of torque at 1900 rpm. For European buyers, this is really small news (though good small news). The bigger message: even European brands selling cars in Europe are moving away from diesel. (source: Škoda)

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  • Ingvar Ingvar on Jun 02, 2008

    There's no indication that diesel sales are going down in Europe. And the Fabia is not a sign of the times. There's a billion reasons to why or why not Volkswagen makes a decision on anything. It's like predicting SUV-sales on Chryslers decision not to make a Chrysler version of the Dodge Journey, which tells more about Cerberus then about SUVs.

  • Paul Niedermeyer Paul Niedermeyer on Jun 02, 2008

    Keep in mind that prior to the recent increase in fuel cost, diesels in many countries of Europe only made economic sense if you drove over a certain number of miles/kms (about 15k in Germany) per year. Many who bought diesels didn't drive enough to pay off the up-front premium. A fair number of buyers bought because it was the fad. The global diesel crunch is hitting Europe too, so that combined with the fad wearing off, and much more efficient "downsized" gas engines like the VW 1.4 TSI, diesel's market share will begin to drop. Overnight; of course not. But over the next 10-15 years, diesel may lose half it's market share.

  • RobbieWilliams RobbieWilliams on Jun 03, 2008

    Of course this is contradicted by the fact that diesel sales throughout Europe have continued to increase and now represent 50% of sales in Europe (source NPR). Also, VW, Acura, Audi, et al, are bringing out diesels to the U.S. With the promise of better mileage, cleaner diesel, and bio diesel, I am thinking their odds of sticking around are good.

  • Chuckgoolsbee Chuckgoolsbee on Jun 03, 2008

    Diesel isn't a "fad", it is just an alternative. Markets work best when they DON'T follow the Microsoft model. I truly envy the Europeans who have a choice of powertrains in just about every model. You can pick your car and THEN decide on gasoline OR Diesel. In most cases, with just about any car, you have that choice. You can get an Alfa Romeo Spider with a Diesel for goodness sakes! But then again, here in the USA we get to choose: SUV or Truck. 14 MPG vs 12 MPG? Sigh. I imagine that if Diesel were an option here in the US, they would be sold. Not at the rate they are in Europe, but when you can buy a 5 passenger family sedan that will get 40 MPG things WILL move off the lot. However the argument is moot. The "fad" you fear so much can never happen here. You can't buy a Diesel car in the USA. --chuck http://chuck.goolsbee.org

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