Report: GM to Enter Diesel Market in U.S. with Chevrolet Cruze

By Paul Riegler on 14 July 2011
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Today, a new car buyer in the U.S. looking for a diesel can choose among models from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen That could soon change if General Motors starts to offer the Chevrolet Cruze, currently the most popular new car in the U.S., with a diesel engine.

The Associated Press is reporting that a diesel Cruze could hit showrooms as early as 2013 and that the diesel version could use as little as 4.7 l/100 km (50 mpg).  The Toyota Prius uses 4.61 l/100 km (51 mpg) and the diesel variant would help GM compete in this area.

The improved fuel economy would certainly help GM meet upcoming fuel economy requirements.

General Motors sold roughly 25,000 Chevrolet Cruzes in June of this year and this pushed the car ahead of others, such as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, which have previously held the title of the top-selling car.

While General Motors doesn’t offer any diesel-powered passenger cars in the U.S., it does offer them in most other markets.  Diesels make up 70% of new car registrations in Germany and GM’s Adam Opel division in Europe offers all of its passenger cars with a choice of several diesel engines.

Comparable model diesel sales in the U.S. for 2010 were 32%, meaning that one-third of new car buyers chose a diesel over the comparable gasoline variant.   Market leader Volkswagen sold 51,769 diesel-powered cars in 2010; the top-selling diesel model in the U.S. was the Volkswagen Jetta TDI with 6256 units. Total diesel sales in 2010 were 77,877.