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Bosch Analysis Finds US Light Duty Diesels Had a Consumer Take Rate of About 30% in 2009 When Both Diesel and Gasoline Engines Offered

9 May 2010

An analysis by Bosch, using new car registration data provided by R.L Polk & Co., determined that for the 12-month period beginning January 2009, when both diesel and gasoline engine options were offered as options in a car, about 30% of the registrations had diesel engines.

Bosch’s analysis of Polk data shows the average percentage of registrations for cars with clean diesel engines were:

  • Audi A3 TDI: 20%
  • Audi Q7 TDI: 30%
  • BMW 335d: 8%
  • BMW X5 xDrive x35d: 17%
  • Mercedes-Benz GL 350 BlueTEC: 18%
  • Mercedes-Benz ML 350 BlueTEC: 13%
  • Mercedes-Benz R 350 BlueTEC: 12%
  • VW Jetta TDI (Sedan and Sportwagen): 49%+
  • Volkswagen Touareg TDI: 33%

Lars Ullrich, director of diesel systems marketing for Robert Bosch LLC, noted that car buyers chose clean diesel vehicles at higher rates than most market watchers expected.

These rates compare favorably or surpass the percentage of buyers opting for a hybrid version of a vehicle, he said. For example, using Polk registration data for the same 12-month period as the base, Ullrich noted that 8% of Camry buyers chose the Camry Hybrid, which has been on the market for four years, having been introduced in 2006 as a 2007 model. Similarly, the Ford Escape Hybrid introduced in 2004, had a consumer take rate of 10% in 2009.

As we examine this data, we are excited to see that even though clean diesels have been on the market for a shorter timeframe than hybrids, their acceptance by the buying public has accelerated more rapidly than similar hybrid models.

—Lars Ullrich

May 9, 2010 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

We need cheaper batteries.

And lower Diesel fuel prices in the US now that diesels are becoming clean.

Our local car editor predicts that improved gasoline ICE + partially and fully electrified vehicles will take market share away from diesel units in the very near future, specially where diesel fuel is more costly than regular gasoline. The future will tell.

I disagree with their conclusion of 30% being applicable industry wide.

I would say the non-VW sales lend to what the actual percentage mix would be and push the hypothesis that VW customers tend to be more likely to buy a diesel than non-VW customers.

I would say that if every single car in the US market were available with a diesel motor (and the increased cost due to diesel) the market penetration would be in the 15% range and it might slightly reduce hybrid market share.

People probably go to VW to get a diesel at a reasonable price.

Turbocharged GDI is coming close to diesel in both fuel economy and torque, so I expect a lot of diesel buyers to migrate there in the near future.  Towing is the one application I expect diesels to own for a while.

I own a diesel Jetta TDI wagon '02. I average 41 mpg city/hiway combined. More like 45+ highway. Fuel prices fluctuate. Sometimes it's less than regular gas but not right now. I will never buy a straight gas vehicle again. When diesel hybrids start showing up, nothing running on fossil fuels will be able to touch them. A Canadian friend's diesel Smart car gets 70 mpg now. A diesel hybrid mid-size should be able to do that. Less Co2 and with Blue Tech, no NOX and with particulate filters no soot.
A very clean high mileage ULEV.

My wifes old 1997 Audi A6, powered by a 5 cylinder 140 bhp 2.5TDi Diesel can average 46mpg UK (I get often 50mpg UK) and get up to 64 mpg UK on the motorway at speeds of 65-70mph. I can often get a range of 900 miles and I dare say 1000 miles is possible if I manage over 60 mpg throughout.

Diesel in the UK costs $7 per gallon, about 25c more than petrol ($6.75). This also makes Diesel very expensive to run, but still less of a pain in the wallet than petrol.

This news is no surprise. Clean diesel technology is a proven technology that delivers superior fuel efficiency and performance vis-à-vis gasoline technology. The Europeans get it and this data shows that we’re also starting to as well. Hopefully Mahindra will continue this diesel push. Their compact diesel pickups are coming soon and, with their superior fuel efficiency and payload capacity, they sound very promising.

"clean diesel" for most vehicles currently means no more than 5-20% biodiesel in the fuel. For me, a truly clean diesel would be one that could run on 100% biodiesel. When can we expect this? US manufacturers seem to be headed toward allowing 20% biodiesel in the mix...European cars, 5-10%. Is improvement planned or research underway?

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