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Ecology problems aside, Americans still love diesel cars

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Staff Writer | January 7, 2017
Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum, described the status of diesel passenger vehicle sales in the U.S.
Auto industry   U.S. diesel car market regains momentum
"Much has been said and predicted about the viability of diesel in passenger cars, trucks and SUVs in the U.S. in the wake of the 'dieselgate' emissions scandal. Diesel sales started 2016 at their lowest point - 0.43 percent of all vehicle sales in January, according to Hybrid data – and some analysts issued dire projections about diesel's future here.

"However, by the end of 2016 the diesel 'take rate' almost doubled to 0.81 percent in December. Cumulatively, 115,337 diesels were sold in the U.S. in 2016, and this does not include many of the domestic heavy-duty diesel pickup truck sales where diesel has over 10 percent of the market share.

"Even with the loss of 13 VW Group of America vehicles from the U.S. market, as well as delays in government product certifications for other manufacturers, 2016 diesel sales have regained about 20 percent of VW's previous diesel market share.

"It is to be expected that with fewer choices and lower fuel prices, the sales of fuel-efficient clean diesels might decline, but what we're seeing is that consumers have not lost confidence in diesel.

"SUVs and light trucks largely carried the U.S. diesel market in 2016 in addition to smaller numbers of luxury cars and SUVs diesel options."