Via Autoblog, there’s a great article in BusinessWeek about the slowly swelling interest in deisel engines in the US. It’s a good background primer about why diesel hasn’t been available there and just how prevalent it is in the Euro market (in some countries, diesels now comprise the majority of new sales).
The key date for the US is very close, it’s actually October this year according to Autoblog. At that time, new low-sulfur fuel regulations will kick in, making the fuel much cleaner, the emissions much lower and the viablity of diesels in the US market much greater.
In light of this, the following email has just been shot off to Saab USA:
As you should be aware, new laws that mandate the lowering of sulfur content in diesel fuel will come into play later this year. The American market has a jaundiced view of diesels due to bad historical experiences, but new diesel technologies have improved performance, mileage and importantly, the ‘cleanliness’ of the vehicle in the mind of the customer.
Can you advise as to whether or not the US market will receive the diesel variants of either the 9-5 or 9-3 range that are currently so successful in the UK and European markets? If so, is there a ballpark date for the release of these vehicles and if not, then why not?
Diesel power is gaining momentum in the US with several car companies announcing the arrival of new diesel models in the new year. With Saab having an already enviable environmental reputation as well as a proven winner in the 1.9 TiD, the time seems right for this vehicle to come to the US market.
Looking forward to your response.
You can be sure that the response will be published as soon as it’s received.