With the new 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel (earlier post) now part of its North American lineup, GM is initially looking to the pool of diesel enthusiasts for its first buyers, said James Bell, GM’s Head of Consumer Affairs.
Initially, we expect there will be kind of pent-up demand from buyers who are already [diesel] fans. We’re looking at the guy who has had three Jetta TDIs and wants something different, but doesn’t want to spend for luxury.
At the next level, when we get more of the cars out there, people will start having conversations, say conversations at dinner parties, about driving diesel. That kind of conversational marketing is going to help sell the car.—James Bell
GM, said Bell, isn’t planning any large consumer education campaign around the benefits of diesel.
We’re piggybacking off of what the [German] luxury manufacturers have done in that space. They’ve spent millions on educating the American consumer, and have seen the investment pay off. Audi has introduced diesel on every vehicle in its line-up. So we’re not planning anything specific; we think there is a big enough pool.—James Bell
GM targeted the Cruze for its first North American diesel passenger car in 27 years (Chevrolet dropped the Chevette diesel option in 1987) because it wanted to introduce the advanced diesel engine product in a vehicle that is affordable, Bell said. The Cruze diesel sticker is about $25,000 he noted, but the vehicle is nicely contented—“It’s not a stripped-down model with a great engine.”
The Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions compliant 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel produces an estimated 148 horsepower (110 kW) and estimated 258 lb-ft torque (350 N·m ) with 0-60 performance of 8.6 seconds. The vehicle has demonstrated an estimated 42 mpg (5.6 l/100km) on the highway. Final performance and fuel economy specs will be available closer to the on-sale date this summer.