Six German automotive companies—passenger car manufacturers Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen, and the supplier Bosch—launched their first joint campaign for diesels in the US. Under the slogan “Clean Diesel. Clearly Better.” they will argue for the advantages of modern diesel passenger car technology over gasoline engines in terms of cleanliness, consumption and performance.
The new vehicle market share of light-duty diesels in the US is quite low (2.6%) compared with a diesel share of 55% in Western Europe. However, sales of diesel passenger cars by German manufacturers—representing 100% of the market in diesel passenger cars in the US—have more than doubled over the last three years. In the first nine months of the current year, around 69,600 diesel cars were sold in the USA, compared to 30,600 for the same period in 2009.
Diesel vehicles have also shown strong gains among total light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks). Up to September 2012, 284,400 light vehicles with diesel engines were sold, compared with only 160,000 units in the year 2009. The German manufacturers pushed up their market share of the diesel light vehicle segment from 25% to 37%. Their sales multiplied by two and a half (from 40,000 units to over 104,000).
The campaign, which has been developed jointly by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) and VDA member companies, comprises a website and flanking offline activities on the US market by the companies involved. Their common goal is to create a multi-brand information platform for clean diesels among the US population.
Using brief examples from everyday motoring in the US, the website explains the dynamics of the diesel drivetrain and its advantages in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, low noise emissions and refueling costs and also addresses outdated concerns regarding diesel cars. For example, website users can not only easily calculate the consumption advantage of a diesel vehicle, but can also hear the difference in noise between a modern diesel drive train and one from the 1990s.
In addition, the participating companies present current models of diesel cars complying with the environmental standards in all 50 US states. On average, their fuel efficiency is 18% higher than corresponding models with gasoline engines.
The campaign participants aim to present the diesel alternative to interested US consumers in as much detail as possible, so the website also provides background information on research and development, and on the overall environmental framework in the USA.
The companies participating in the campaign, which other manufacturers and suppliers may join, will apply the campaign logo as a seal of quality on the US market in advertisements, on banners, in TV spots, product brochures and their showrooms. The campaign will appear at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), in Detroit in January 2013.