Diesels Join Hybrids Showing Stronger Growth In US Sales

TornadoRed

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from Forbes (http://www.forbes.com/sites/dalebuss/2012/08/07/diesel-joins-hybrids-showing-stronger-growth-in-u-s-sales/)

Volkswagen plans to boost its output of the Turbo Direct Injection clean-diesel version of its Passat midsize sedan made in Tennessee because of greater-than-expected demand. While diesel units currently account for about 20 percent of Passat sales in the U.S., Jonathan Browning, CEO of Volkswagen of America, said recently that he expects VW to “be able to sustain something longer-term on Passat above 25 percent TDI going forward.”

“It’s not just an economic argument that people respond to” in purchasing clean-diesel versions of Passat, because of the significantly higher mileage yield of diesel fuel over gasoline, he told journalists. “It’s also the convenience of relatively infrequent trips to the gas station and the process of refueling. People enjoy the fact that you get extended mileage from TDI between refuels.”
(snip)
[T]he Forum reported that U.S. hybrid car sales improved by nearly 64 percent during the first half when diesel sales were up by 28 percent; the overall car market was up by 15 percent. These figures seem to indicate that both technologies are gaining important new traction with U.S. consumers... even as many makers are able to boast of significantly higher mileage for their conventionally gasoline-powered models.
(snip)
With more than 15 new clean-diesel models designated for the U.S. market in the next two years, even further substantial increases in diesel sales seem to be on the horizon. According to the Forum, the new models will include clean-diesel versions of the Volkswagen Beetle; Audi A6, A8 and Q5 next year and a diesel version of A4 as early as next year; new BMWs with both new 2.0-liter and 3.o-liter inline-six-cylinder engines to expand its existing clean-diesel lineup in the U.S.; a new Jeep Grand Cherokee Ecodiesel planned by Chrysler for 2014; new diesel versions of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class line as well as other new diesels that will give the brand a total of eight diesel models by 2014; diesel versions of the new Cadillac ATS and Chevrolet Cruze next year; and the first mainstream diesel to be offered by an Asian manufacturer in a new Mazda model. (end of quote)


In my opinion, the most important of these models will be the Chevy Cruze, because if it is widely accepted by the auto-buying public then there's no reason why a diesel option can't be offered for every model by every manufacturer.
 

62Lincoln

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snip)
[T]he Forum reported that U.S. hybrid car sales improved by nearly 64 percent during the first half
I'm very skeptical of that growth figure for one simple reason: Prius sales.

Prius sales were artificially depressed last year, due to low supply from Japan because of the earthquake/tsunami. Sales have rebounded with supply this year, but the growth rates being quoted are due to comparing this year's (normal) sales to last year's depressed numbers.
 

dubStrom

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My local dealership(s) confirms Passat demand. Part of the reason is the larger dimensions. Much more room than a Camry or Accord, better fuel economy and range. Hybrids are small and complex. It will be interesting to see if Passat moves off lots as well as anticipated. It will cut into Jetta sales, but not Sportwagen (because VW will NOT bring a Passat wagon!).
 

Dooglas

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It will cut into Jetta sales, but not Sportwagen (because VW will NOT bring a Passat wagon!).
And the reason for no Passat wagon would be? Shows how much eyewash the previous article about VW tailoring their offerings for the American market really was. (you have to wonder how VW actually makes decisions like this - Ouji Board? jar of marbles? loaded dice?)
 

chewy

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And the reason for no Passat wagon would be? Shows how much eyewash the previous article about VW tailoring their offerings for the American market really was. (you have to wonder how VW actually makes decisions like this - Ouji Board? jar of marbles? loaded dice?)
Not making a wagon version of the new US Passat is the exact definition of tailoring to the US market. In Europe the wagon to sedan ratio is probably at least 50/50 if not better for the wagon. In the US the Jetta Sportswagen makes up under 15% of Jetta sales. The Passat wagon was around 17% I think.

Now when you consider the new plant in Chattanooga has a limited capacity (120k now but up to 180k later) VW is going to be building the NMS sedan there and a future 3 row people mover SUV/CUV thing. Clearly they weren't going to spend money on designing US Passat based wagon and they aren't bringing the European Passat over anymore.

As for hybrids I think Toyota is selling more Prii than before overall but the sales are now more distributed between the big one, regular and small so the original one is actually selling fewer units than before (true at least for last month)
 

dubStrom

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European market consumers are lucky that a vehicle that might sell pretty well in Czechoslovakia (OK Czech republic, or Slovakia :) ), or England, can be ordered in Spain, or Ireland. It just takes a while to get it. Just about ANYTHING they make and sell somewhere in Europe is available, since emissions standards are agreed upon.

We have two North American entities to thank for lack of access to these vehicles... CARB to thank for clean air in the San Bernardino Valley in winter (and limited access to European market autos), and NHTSA to thank for "safe" cars, and limited access to European market autos.

We should have a world standard for emissions and safety: some sort of comprimise that would reduce costs, and allow anyone to buy a reduced emissions diesel pickup that might not be able to move a house, but gets the job done, or a teeny roller skate that gets 60 mpg, or anything in between!:(
 
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waltzconmigo

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dubstorm---, i know how badly it bothers you to know that, as far as automotive choices goes, the grass truly is greener across the pond. you have to be realistic, there will never be a single standard for emissions and safety for the entire planet. the UN black helicopter crowd in this country would go crazy screaming about their loss of freedom and self-determination to the satanic world order. (btw, in some senses i agree with them. you know, the slippery slope argument and all.) there is also no way that emissions standards or safety standards can be made the same. India, China, Russia, Indonesia, Philippines , all of Africa, portions of the Americas, etc, etc, etc. would have no desire to put up with the monetary cost for this. i know that you are fully aware of this and are just blowing off some "steam" but i just had to say it. in europe they get at least a half dozen vw models that i would love to see here, not to mention all of the other brands. here's to hoping for a better future.

ciao,
waltz
 

Dooglas

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Not making a wagon version of the new US Passat is the exact definition of tailoring to the US market. In Europe the wagon to sedan ratio is probably at least 50/50 if not better for the wagon. In the US the Jetta Sportswagen makes up under 15% of Jetta sales. The Passat wagon was around 17% I think.
Hmmm, let's see. Hyundai offers a wagon in the American market. Subaru sells more of them than sedans. Audi, BMW, and M-B offer a fair selection of wagons. This tells the wizards at VW that the 2nd largest auto maker in the world can only offer the Sportwagen in the American market and should not consider a wagon to be built at it's American assembly plant (or a small van either for that matter)? I really must be missing something about VW's plan to expand their US sales. (Oh, I almost forgot - the Phaeton II ;))
 

TDIMeister

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My bad. Wiki states that the split happened on 1 January 1993, so 19 1/2 years. That was not my point.. ;)
 

dubStrom

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dubstorm---, i know how badly it bothers you to know that, as far as automotive choices goes, the grass truly is greener across the pond. you have to be realistic, there will never be a single standard for emissions and safety for the entire planet. the UN black helicopter crowd in this country would go crazy screaming about their loss of freedom and self-determination to the satanic world order. (btw, in some senses i agree with them. you know, the slippery slope argument and all.) there is also no way that emissions standards or safety standards can be made the same. India, China, Russia, Indonesia, Philippines , all of Africa, portions of the Americas, etc, etc, etc. would have no desire to put up with the monetary cost for this. i know that you are fully aware of this and are just blowing off some "steam" but i just had to say it. in europe they get at least a half dozen vw models that i would love to see here, not to mention all of the other brands. here's to hoping for a better future.

ciao,
waltz
Unrealistic, I know. But it would potentially benefit auto makers on both sides of the equation to have an agreement with European Union, at least.
 

waltzconmigo

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surely it would benefit the automakers, could maybe include some other 1st world (developed countries as well) what i do not understand is why cars can not be scaled into compliance. we know the passat passes safety and emissions, why can't all other models which are smaller, lighter, have less drag and use the same emissions, drive-trains and engines be scaled in for compliance if they meet safety standards. the passat probably equates to the A6, so everything that meets safety standards could be scaled in without emissions testing. ie A6,A4, A3, passat, passat wagen jetta, jetta wagen, beetle, polo, and the scirocco. under this process vw could bring in other makes as well...think skoda and seat. (i do not know if the passat stuff would fit in a polo or scirocco but you can understand my thought process) wishful thinking i guess. like i said, here's to hoping for a better future.

ciao,
waltz
 

kjclow

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The anounced increase in Passat production is old news. IIRC, it was announced in March or April. As 62Lincoln stated, the hybrid numbers are artifically high comparing 2011 to 2012 sales. Not having product on the lot makes people think that it is more desireable and can therefore increase demand for when the product becomes available. A very clear example is when the weather service announces a snow storm coming towards Charlotte. The milk and bread evaporates from the gorcery shelves, thus placing higher demand from those that did not get to the store fast enough. After the storm passes (or never appears), the peak demand flattens back out to normal.

Add to that chewy's comments about the broadened Prius line to help push the demand higher. I looked at the new bigger Prius this summer. It is a little bigger than the JSW but the rear seats made me feel like I was sitting in a hole. Rear seats do not fold flat and then you also have to deal with the shuttle cockpit controls. Do we really need all those flashing buttons to get to work? Made me feel like I was on the bridge of the Startrek Enterprise.

I would like to see agreement between the EU standards and the North American standards, but don't believe I'll ever see it. Even in the basic chemicals market, the two (three with Canada) can't agree on even simple things like what evaporation temperature should we use to determine if something is a solvent and therefore has to be measured.
 

booksgamesvideos

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We should have a world standard for emissions and safety: some sort of comprimise that would reduce costs, and allow anyone to buy a reduced emissions diesel pickup that might not be able to move a house, but gets the job done, or a teeny roller skate that gets 60 mpg, or anything in between!:(
In reality the U.S. would dominate and force the world standard to be the same as America's, which would then force many European cars to stop being sold (they don't meet American's very tight NOx emissions).
 
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