U.S. market shows diesel remains a popular choice

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The Diesel Technology Forum has released figures that show the U.S. consumers purchased more than 280,000 new clean diesel passenger vehicles in 2016, with Texas, California and Florida having the highest numbers of diesel vehicles. The figures are the result of analysis of the latest Vehicles in Operation (VIO) data compiled by IHS Automotive.

“This level of increase in registrations of new diesel cars, SUVs and light pickup trucks in the U.S. in 2016 is impressive particularly when you consider there were 25% fewer choices in the market compared to 2015,” explained Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum. “It demonstrates the American consumer’s confidence in clean diesel vehicles and what they have to offer – the combination of a proven technology with high fuel efficiency, great driving range and no sacrifices in vehicle capabilities or performance.

“The 2016 increase in diesel registrations was due to the expanding popularity and increasing number of choices in the light duty pickup market,” he continued. “This more than offset the slight decrease in diesel car registrations due to the drop-in number of choices available. Solid performances from both new and existing SUV and luxury sedans continue to demonstrate the utility of diesel engines in these segments.”

Three Northeastern states had the highest percentage of new diesel car and SUV registrations in 2016 led by Vermont (+35%), Maine (+29%) and New Hampshire (+12%).

“We’re extremely optimistic about the U.S. diesel market this year and 2018 because of the introduction of new diesels like the 52 mpg (highway) Chevy Cruze Diesel, the Ford F-150 diesel pickup, along with the Mazda CX-5 SkyActiv-D SUV diesel and the Chevy Equinox diesel. All of these new diesels will complement existing strongholds or fill voids in the marketplace for affordable, proven and fuel-efficient technologies,” Schaeffer concluded.

The analysis is based on 2016 data of vehicles in operation (VIO) that were compiled by IHS Automotive in all 50 states and the District of Columbia through December 31, 2016. The analysis reviewed VIO data for passenger vehicles defined as cars, SUVS, light pickup trucks, heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans. The Diesel Technology Forum used the VIO data to calculate the top states in registrations and the percentages of diesel and hybrid registrations in each state. The analysis also compared 2016 to 2015 data.

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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