Five months after the introduction of the diesel E320 CDI, Mercedes-Benz has hit its 2004 sales target of 3,000 vehicles. Not surprisingly, the company will bring more units to the market.
“The great response we are getting from customers clearly confirms that our strategy of expanding the Mercedes-Benz E-Class lineup with a powerful yet economical diesel sedan for the U.S. market is correct,” says Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, Mercedes Car Group. “Due to the big demand, we will increase the originally planned allocation of 3,000 vehicles this year.”
Mercedes has not had a diesel model in the US market for four years. Prior to the reintroduction of the E320 CDI, there had been some speculation that US buyers still would not be able to overcome their bias against diesel, formulated during a period dominated by an older generation of diesel technology. That clearly was not the case. The success of this diesel is good news; other manufacturers will follow.
DaimlerChrysler is racking up some wins. It could use some of that momentum to carve out a “green” position that is different than Toyota’s, but could fit well into the US market: clean diesels, bio- and alternative fuels, hybrids and fuel cells.