CP. DaimlerChrysler is considering selling a Canada-only diesel-engine version of its minivans while preparing a major product offensive for 2006.
DaimlerChrysler in Europe sells fuel-efficient diesel variants of the Voyager, as well as the Chrysler 300 sedan and other models, but Chrysler’s Canadian diesel offerings are confined to trucks and Jeeps.
Steven Landry [ new president of the automaker’s Canadian division] disclosed that “there’s an investigation on whether diesel minivans make sense for Canada” as DaimlerChrysler finds itself without a hybrid powertrain at a time of consumer anxiety over fuel costs.
“It’s not an investigation that says whether it makes sense for the U.S. as well,” he added. “It was one that was launched just by the Canadian operation.”
“Even though the price of fuel has been coming down, I think the sting over the last three months was nasty enough that people are going to remember it...”
Buyers are “not going to just jump right back into bigger vehicles,” he said. “Consumers have accepted the warning shot.”
|Chrysler Diesel Voyager Minivan|
|* Combined European cycle.|
|Power hp (kW)||143 (105)||149 (110)|
|Emissions||Euro 3||Euro 3|
|Fuel consumption* l/100km||7.7||8.4|
|Fuel economy mpg US||30.6||28|
Chrylser currently offers 2.5-liter and 2.8-liter turbo diesels in the 2005 Model Year Voyager and Grand Voyager minivans in Europe.
DaimlerChrysler yesterday announced a C$768 million (US $640 million) investment plan in its Canadian operations, including new investments in facilities, flexible manufacturing and automotive research and development.