U.S. Automakers Remain Commited to Diesel Technology

General Motors executives reaffirmed their commitment to diesel technology this week during an event hosted by the Washington Automotive Press Association.

“The diesel propulsion system remains a key component of GM’s vehicle lineup, with 13 different models offering diesel as an option,” said Pierpaolo Antonioli, General Motors executive director of the global propulsion systems diesel sector. “Consumers around the globe continue to ask for diesel options, especially in our pick-up truck and SUV offerings, where diesel can offer outstanding fuel economy and the range they demand.”

The Data

Analysts from IHS Markit and the Diesel Technology Forum during the same event revealed updated statistics for the U.S. diesel automotive market.

“According to IHS data from 2017, pick-up trucks remain the most popular type of diesel vehicle, with more than 6.6 million on U.S. roads in 2017,” said Casey Selecman, an analyst for IHS Markit. “Diesel pick-ups gain 20- to 35-percent more torque and towing power, and can go an extra 150 miles per tank of fuel, which can save owners an average of 200 gallons of fuel per year. Calculating these benefits across the full pick-up truck segment, we found that if every full-size pickup truck in America used Diesel fuel, consumers would save more than 500 million gallons of fuel each year.”

Diesel continues to hold 3 percent of the American automotive marketplace, with nearly 8-million diesel cars, SUVs, trucks and vans operating on U.S. roads in 2017.

Texas continues to be top of the nation in total number of registered diesel vehicles, ahead of California, Michigan, Florida and Washington. Meanwhile, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, North Dakota and Alaska maintain the highest percentages of diesel vehicles. Click to see the state ranks.

Considering 2018 and 2019 model years, car manufacturers are adding more than 10 new Diesel models to the U.S. market, across the most popular vehicle segments, according to the Diesel Forum.

Diesel continues to hold more than 13 percent of the light truck segment, despite registrations having fallen by 100,000 units between 2016 and 2017. Diesel vans are gaining in popularity, with more than 120,000 added to the roads in 2017 – an increase of more than 44 percent nationwide, claiming 5 percent of the total van segment.

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