Americans hate diesels, the automakers tell us. Diesels won’t sell on these shores, they say, because the price of diesel fuel isn’t cheaper than the price of gasoline. Worse, diesel-motored cars cost more than their gasoline counterparts, and we Americans are a stingy lot when it comes to buying sensible transportation. Forget diesels, we’re told, and instead embrace the variety of hybrids that automakers will soon begin forcing on us to ensure CAFE compliance.
At least one automaker isn’t buying into conventional wisdom, and has the data to prove their assumptions are correct. Audi currently offers a diesel motor option for its American A3 and Q7 models, and buyers select the TDI version of the A3 in nearly 50% of sales. For the Q7, 40% of buyers opt for the diesel motor, and demand for diesel variants of both vehicles is outstripping U.S. supply. Sister company Volkswagen has had similar success with their TDI models, which typically sell at or near sticker price, compared to the heavy discounting required to move gasoline powered inventory. Maybe we Americans aren’t as stupid as the automakers think we are.
By 2015, Audi will offer a diesel variant for every vehicle they sell in the United States, and company executives project that diesels will account for 20% of Audi’s sales by then. The A8 will be the next American Audi to sport a diesel motor, followed by the A6, and the Q5. The A4 will undergo a major revamp for the 2015 model year, so it’s unlikely we’ll see a diesel version until some time in 2014.
Source: Motor Authority