Diesel and hybrid sales up for 2012Mon, 23 Apr 2012
When gasoline prices go up, sales follow—especially sales of diesel and hybrid cars.
Diesel sales have risen a whopping 35 percent in the first quarter of 2012, according to data compiled by www.hyrbidcars.com and Baum and Associates. A total of 28,260 oil burners changed hands.
Hybrid sales also have increased dramatically. January saw an 11.4 percent increase; February sales were up 55.4 percent, while March was up 39.6 percent. That amounts to a total of 106,207 hybrids.
Over the same period, gasoline prices were up year over year by 10 percent in January, 13 percent in February and 8 percent in March. If the three graphs were laid on top of each other, we'd see a general correlation.
But gasoline prices aren't the only reason diesel and hybrid sales are up. There are a lot more diesel and hybrid cars available in 2012 than there were in 2011, and there are more to come in 2013.
Audi announced that it will sell diesel versions of the A6, the A8 and the Q5 SUV in the United States next year. Additionally, the A4 diesel sedan might arrive in 2013 or 2014.
will introduce a diesel Grand Cherokee in the next few years, along with a Dakota pickup and possibly other Jeeps.
Ford is offering a diesel-powered, full-size Transit, General Motors says the Cadillac ATS will be offered with a diesel and Mazda will be the first Asian manufacturer to bring a diesel to the United States.
Mercedes-Benz has offered its Bluetec line for a while, and Volkswagen will add the Beetle to its diesel lineup.
Another bump for the popularity of diesels came in the form of two global awards. The Mercedes-Benz S250 CDI won the 2012 World Car of the Year honor, and the Volkswagen Passat TDI won the 2012 Earth, Wind and Power Car of the Year title for Most Earth Friendly.
All of these factors seem to be slowly changing the American public's opinion on diesel fuel. With the fossil-fuel supply waning and new federal efficiency laws taking hold, gasoline prices inevitably are going up even more. If carmakers can keep exciting products rolling in, the future for diesels and hybrids looks particularly bright.
By Jake Lingeman