State Railway of Thailand Testing CNG as Replacement for Diesel
California Utilities Incent Farmers to Ditch Diesel for Electric Pumps

Chrysler Cautions on US Diesel Expectations

Chrysler Group is doing better than it expected with its introduction of the diesel Jeep Liberty CRD (earlier post). Through the end of the July, the company has shipped 8,300 units to dealers and sold more than 4,000—compared to its original estimate of selling perhaps 5,000 in the entire first year.

Speaking at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Michigan, however, the incoming head of Product Development for the Chrysler Group, Frank Klegon, cautioned against assuming on a rapid expansion of the company’s diesel offerings in the US.

We still need to make a strong business case in order to justify expanding our diesel offerings.

We can’t just bring a European diesel-powered passenger vehicle and put it unchanged into the US market. The fundamental costs are the same whether you are going to produce 5,000 vehicles or 500,000.

In Europe, Chrysler Group sells diesel-powered versions of the Chrysler 300, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chrysler Voyager minivan and the Liberty (badged Jeep Cherokee).

Differences in regulations, fuel quality—and consumer preferences—require extensive development to adapt a product for American consumers, Klegon said.

Despite the caution, he also noted the benefits of the diesel platform: a typical 30% improvement in fuel economy, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, power and performance. The ability to fuel the vehicles with biodiesel adds to the environmental benefit. Chrysler is fueling its Liberty CRD with B5 at the factory in Ohio.

All that makes diesel one of the “cornerstones” for the company’s strategy, which also includes:

  • More fuel-efficient internal combustion engines

  • E85 Flex-fuel vehicles

  • GEM electric vehicles (Chrysler has 30,000 of them in use nationwide)

  • Hybrids

  • Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)