It is decided... almost

Non-technical forum specific to Audi. Good example: Discussion of classic Audi's.

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
GaToR
DCAWD Groupie
Posts: 866
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:56 pm

It is decided... almost

Postby GaToR » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:31 am

Newfound acceptance of diesel is boosting sales after the technology all but disappeared from the U.S. over the past two decades because of loud engines and health concerns related to the exhaust. Mercedes, Volkswagen AG’s Audi and luxury leader Bayerische Motoren Werke AG are now promoting diesel after falling behind Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus on hybrids.

Daimler AG’s Mercedes will present a diesel flagship S- Class at the Detroit Auto Show next week. The four-wheel-drive model, which gets about 35 miles (56 kilometers) per gallon, will go on sale in the second half and mark the brand’s fifth U.S. diesel model. Mercedes targets offering eight diesels in the U.S. by 2014, product management vice president Philipp Schiemer said in an interview.

“We don’t have to push diesel anymore,” he said. “Our expansion is being driven by customer demand. The customers who have tried diesel don’t want to switch back.”

Shares Advance

Preferred shares in Volkswagen, which also sells diesel models in the U.S., rose 3 euros, or 2.4 percent, to 127.85 euros in Frankfurt. Daimler fell 0.1 percent to 54.53 euros.

The widespread introduction of ultra-low-sulfur diesel in 2006 and components to filter out soot and remove smog-causing nitrogen oxides from emissions spurred German carmakers’ effort to sell Americans on the technology. The fuel’s availability has also improved, with 52 percent of U.S. stations offering diesel in 2007 compared with 35 percent in 1997, according to a 2010 study from trade group Diesel Technology Forum.

Diesel’s higher energy content helps engines burning the fuel go farther per gallon and emit less carbon dioxide. The BMW 3-Series diesel gets 36 miles per gallon compared with 28 for the gas version. BMW and Audi re-entered the U.S. diesel market in 2009, four years after Mercedes.

Sales Surge

U.S. diesel car sales in 2009 surged 20-fold to nearly 160,000 vehicles, after chalking up about 8,000 deliveries in each of the previous two years, as availability of the German carmakers’ models using the fuel increased. The 2009 sales marked the first time since 1984 that more than 100,000 diesel passenger cars were sold in the U.S., according to data from U.S.-based market researcher Ward’s Automotive Group.

Diesel’s share of U.S. light vehicle sales, which includes vans, SUVs, and trucks, rose last year to 2.6 percent from 2.2 percent, compared with a decline for hybrids to 2.4 percent from 2.6 percent, according to auto website Edmunds.com. :wink:

Audi currently sells diesel versions of the A3 compact and Q7 sport-utility vehicle in the U.S. Audi plans to offer diesel in the top-of-the-line A8 and full-sized A6 sedan within two years, :nana: sales chief Peter Schwarzenbauer said in an interview, adding diesel will eventually make up a third of the A6 and A8’s U.S. sales.

New Buyers

Diesel accounted in 2010 for 53 percent of A3 deliveries and more than 43 percent of Q7 registrations, Ingolstadt, Germany-based Audi said.

“The diesel A3 has brought a lot of people into the brand - younger, well-educated buyers,” Schwarzenbauer said. “We are convinced that diesel has a future in the U.S. market.”

Lexus, the biggest U.S. luxury seller, offers four hybrids and is sticking to that technology to woo environmentally conscious buyers, said Bill Kwong, a brand spokesman in Torrance, California.

Audi, whose diesel A3 won the Green Car of the Year award in 2010, is promoting the fuel with an advertising campaign with the slogan “Diesel. It’s no longer a dirty word.” Mercedes has solicited endorsements of its diesel vehicles from actress Emmy Rossum, who appeared in Clint Eastwood’s movie “Mystic River,” and “Desperate Housewives” star Kyle MacLachlan.

Mercedes, based in Stuttgart, Germany, expects diesel will eventually account for 10 percent of its U.S. sedan sales and 20 percent of SUV deliveries, Schiemer said, adding that the carmaker doesn’t need to discount diesels to attract buyers.

‘No Shelf Life’

“The Germans are selling every diesel they ship over; they have no shelf life whatsoever,” said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with IHS Automotive in Lexington, Massachusetts. “Luxury buyers are more aware of the benefits of diesel,” and the added cost of diesel engines is less a factor in the high- end segment.

BMW plans to continue offsetting the higher price for diesel engines, which is $3,050 for the 3-Series sedan and $5,500 for the X5 SUV, by offering a $4,500 rebate, said Joe Wierda, diesel product manager for BMW’s U.S. unit.

The Munich-based carmaker, which also promotes the technology by encouraging dealers to offer customers diesel- powered loaners during service visits, is considering offering a diesel-powered 5-Series in the U.S., Wierda said.

“The success that we’ve seen over the last year makes us even more bullish” on diesel, he said.

Volatile Price

Still, the effort to promote diesel has been burdened by the volatile cost of the fuel, which has been more expensive than regular gasoline since July 2009, according to Oil Price Information Service. By contrast, diesel in Germany is subsidized with a tax rate that’s lower than on gas. That helped diesel account for 42 percent of car sales in the country in 2010, according to Germany’s federal motor vehicle office.

The U.S. government’s spending on diesel has been focused on refitting older soot-spewing trucks and buses. With electric cars being gradually rolled out, there’s little political interest in supporting a technology that dates back to 1897.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is “fuel and technology neutral,” said Cathy Milbourn, a spokeswoman for the agency. “We just want the manufacturers to meet our standards.”

Cher Balks

“The real issue for diesel cars in the U.S. is the lingering image they hold from days past, when they delivered slow acceleration, a noisy idle and a black cloud of exhaust, but this image is fading,” said Karl Brauer, an analyst with auto website Edmunds.com based in Santa Monica, California.

Even as Mercedes, Audi, and BMW make headway in the public perception of diesel, demand remains hampered by fuel availability. Cher, the star of the movie “Burlesque”, balked at buying a Mercedes diesel, even after deciding hybrid technology was “pretty much all bulls**t,” because the fuel wasn’t available in her Malibu neighborhood.

“I found out there was no diesel places near us, so if there was a fire, I would not be able to get out,” Cher told Fox News in November. Sony Pictures, which is distributing her latest movie, didn’t respond to requests to contact the star.
.


If true, 'within 2 years' I will have an A6 Avant 3.0 TDI.

Wish it were sooner...

I'll look at Merc's offering, but it sounds as if it will be the S-class only with AWD, and I'm not in the mood to drop that kind of coin.

All BMW would have to do is offer xDrive on the 335d and they'd have my biz-naz. :poke:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-0 ... brids.html

User avatar
Sabre
DCAWD Founding Member
Posts: 21362
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Springfield, VA
Contact:

Re: It is decided... almost

Postby Sabre » Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:39 am

GaToR wrote:If true, 'within 2 years' I will have an A6 Avant 3.0 TDI.

Wish it were sooner...

I'll look at Merc's offering, but it sounds as if it will be the S-class only with AWD, and I'm not in the mood to drop that kind of coin.

All BMW would have to do is offer xDrive on the 335d and they'd have my biz-naz. :poke:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-0 ... brids.html


I'm TOTALLY with you on the 335d Xi!!! Suzie would have one in her hands if they did.
Sabre (Julian)
Image
92.5% Stock 04 STI
Good choice putting $4,000 rims on your 1990 Honda Civic. That's like Betty White going out and getting her tits done.

User avatar
PGT
DCAWD Groupie
Posts: 1578
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:06 am
Location: Loudoun

Re: It is decided... almost

Postby PGT » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:06 am

low sulfur diesel is widespread now in the US? That was always the argument against widespread adoption
2013 BMW 328i M Sport with 8sp in Estoril Blue II
2012 Chrysler 300C SRT8 - Always bet on black
2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Edition, otherwise known as the MW3 (and badass)

User avatar
GaToR
DCAWD Groupie
Posts: 866
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:56 pm

Re: It is decided... almost

Postby GaToR » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:14 am

PGT wrote:low sulfur diesel is widespread now in the US? That was always the argument against widespread adoption


ULSD is now mandatory for on-road use. :mrgreen:

Sorry, fixed ^
Last edited by GaToR on Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
complacent
DCAWD Founding Member
Posts: 11651
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: near the rockies. very.
Contact:

Re: It is decided... almost

Postby complacent » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:36 am

i <3 the idea of a tdi a6 avant quattro... :drool:
colin

a tank, a yammie, a spaceship
i <3 teh 00ntz

User avatar
sirwilliam
Resident Poop Expert
Posts: 7226
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:27 pm
Location: The Wild Serengeti Suburbs

Re: It is decided... almost

Postby sirwilliam » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:09 pm

complacent wrote:i <3 the idea of a tdi a6 avant quattro... :drool:


I concur. :drive:
2004 SG Model A PearlBlackObsidian (RIP)
2008 SG Model D BlueRallyWorld

"When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story." -Barney Stinson
"Nothing shuts my pie-hole but pie." -Shawn Spencer


Return to “Audi”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron