Diesel Sales Up 27 Percent In The U.S., Says OEM-Sponsored Advocacy Group

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
diesel sales up 27 percent in the u s says oem sponsored advocacy group

A non-profit group backed by some major OEMs sent out a press release claiming that diesel vehicle sales are up by 27 percent in 2011 while hybrid sales are down by 2.2 percent. So, D’s up, [s]hoes[/s] hybrids down while you motherf***ers bounce to this?

As I worked on assembling data to see whether the increased number of diesel cars available was responsible for the jump (the Passat TDI can’t be the only new entry in the diesel market, can it) commenter PCH101 astutely pointed out in another thread

“…diesels comprised 0.4% of the US car market, while hybrids were 4.3% of the market…If diesels gained 27% for 2011, then diesel sales now total a whopping 0.5% of the market. For every one sold, 199 other vehicles would have been powered by something else.”

As someone who consistently received D’s in math classes, I salute PCH 101 for his research. A look at the graphic above, showing who is behind the Diesel Technology Forum shows that this “non-profit” has a huge stake in[s] the financial success[/s] consumer acceptance of diesels. Diesel sales were actually down 0.1 percent in 2010 compared to the previous year, so the 2011 numbers are a net gain of zero. On the other hand, Hybrid sales doubled from 2009-2010, from 2.3% to 4.3% of market share.

Other blogs failed to do the sort of number crunching that PCH beat me to you see here, which suits the Diesel Technology Forum just fine. If everyone else just re-blogs press releases mindlessly while waiting for their next press car to get dropped off at their home, then the public digests the out-of-context information as a soundbite, and with oil-burning variants of the Mazda CX-5, Cadillac ATS, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chevrolet Cruze and Mercedes-Benz S-Class all due out in the next couple of years, mindless acceptance of their party line is a good thing for the OEMs pushing diesel cars.

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  • Brettc Brettc on Jan 12, 2012

    Some people on here proudly admit to the Panther cult. I proudly admit to being a member of the VW IDI/TDI cult. I've owned 5 diesel VWs since 1998 - an '85 Jetta diesel, 89 Jetta TD, 2000 Jetta TDI, 2003 Jetta TDI and a 2002 Golf TDI. I no longer drive a lot of miles like I did a few years ago, but I still love my TDIs. One of the biggest things for me is that the smell of gasoline at the fuel pumps makes me sick. Diesel smells, but it's a lot less intense than gas and seems to take less time to go away if you get some on your skin. Aside from the stench of gas (and the horrible fuel economy in a gas powered car), I love diesels because of the low-end torque and how fun they are to drive. Plus I enjoy listening to diesel clatter and don't understand why people would want to feel like they're sitting on a couch inside an anechoic chamber on wheels when they're driving their cushy SUVs. And with the help of a resource like TDIclub, I never have to get bent over at a dealer for repairs. I am interested to see what will happen with the diesel Cruze and the Sky-D vehicles and how well they will be received by people that haven't experienced modern diesels.

    • Redav Redav on Jan 12, 2012

      I'm quite interested to see the price premium for the Sky-D since it doesn't use the complex emissions equipment of other diesels. I've even heard that the 2.2L Sky-D will share parts with the 2.0L Sky-G and be manufactured on the same assembly line. It's too bad that they've only been talking about putting it in the CX-5 or Mazda6. I'd love to see what 310 ft-lb could do in a Mazda3.

  • Herb Herb on Jan 12, 2012

    Regarding the Diesel reliability issue: Almost every second car sold in Germany, for example, was Diesel-powered. Among cabs, I'd estimate the rate of Diesel cars is about 80-90%. (Their love with the Diesel started 1935 with the Mercedes 260 D.) All weird Masochists? Call me unconvinced. Do car makers sell different cars in the US than in Europe? (BTW: I'm no Diesel aficionado, never had one, just wonder.)

  • Gemcitytm Why does it seem every EV seems to have ridiculous amounts of power? Yes, I know they're heavier than ICE models but who on earth needs 708 HP? How about a nice, compact EV with, say, 250 HP and 350-400 mile range? Is that impossible with today's tech? (I currently drive a 148 HP Mazda 3 ICE and it has all the get-up-and-go I need.)
  • CEastwood I could have bought one of these if I had the cash in 76 for $1000 white , red interior , 3 speed stick with whitewalls/ wire hubcaps - it was mint and gone a day after I saw it . But the real catch that got away was an all original 69 green Camaro RS convertible 327 4 speed with 46K on the clock for 1800 that I saw a few months earlier . Young and poor was not a fun place to be !
  • KOKing I'm in an emissions check only state, and I'd trade that away for a safety check all day.
  • Bd2 The hybrid powertrain in the Sportage and Tucson are the ones to get.H/K should discontinue the base NA 2.5L powertrain and just build more of the hybrid.In the future, maybe offer a 2nd, more powerful hybrid (the hybrid 2.5) which will first arrive with the next Telluride/Palisade.Kia also needs to redo the front fascia for the Sportage's refresh.
  • The Oracle I say let the clunkers stay on the roads.