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U.S. Clean Diesel Auto Sales Increase 25.6 Percent In 2012

U.S. market potential driven by new diesel auto introductions and favorable diesel fuel price forecasts.

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LOS ANGELES – Clean diesel automobile sales in the United States have increased 25.6 percent in 2012, according to sales information compiled by HybridCars.com and Baum and Associates.
 
Most recently, U.S. sales of clean diesel autos increased 21.2 percent in October 2012 over October 2011, 44 percent in September, and 28.1 percent in August. In 2012, U.S. hybrid car sales have increased 67.8 percent and the overall U.S. automobile market increased 13.8 percent, according to the new sales information.
 
“The 44 percent increase in U.S. clean diesel sales in September was the largest gain of any month in 2012,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum. “And, the overall 25.6 percent increase in 2012 is almost double the overall auto market increase of 13.8 percent.
 
"An important trend in U.S. clean diesel sales is the consistency of the monthly increases," Schaeffer continued. "Diesel sales have increased in 26 of the past 27 months with 23 of these months showing double-digit increases. Impressively, there have been 20 percent or better increases in 20 of the past 27 months.”
 
The Diesel Technology Forum believes clean diesel autos and light-duty trucks are in the “early stages of a renaissance" in America, Schaeffer adds.
 
“Even though the combined total of diesel cars with light-duty trucks sold in the U.S. is around three percent, there a several major reasons the outlook is extremely positive for dramatic sales increase,” Schaeffer said.
 
“Today’s clean diesels are not the same as those Americans saw in the 1970s and 1980s. Today’s diesels are fast, efficient and clean, and offer consumers long-term green value for their investments.
 
“With higher and fluctuating fuel prices, Americans are seeking more fuel efficient cars. In addition, the new federal fuel efficiency standards that will require a 54.5 mpg average by 2025 will also boost clean diesel auto sales, as diesel cars are 20 to 40 percent more fuel efficient than gasoline versions.”
 
Schaeffer said the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that compared to 2012 the price of diesel fuel will decline by about 3 percent in 2013 to $3.83/gallon.
 
“An important consideration for consumer’s comparison car shopping is the differential cost between diesel fuel and gasoline which has also declined,” Schaeffer said. “When comparing diesel to premium gasoline, the cost differential today is just 17 cents a gallon. With diesel fuel and gasoline prices tracking more closely, consumers choosing diesel will see a faster payback for investing in a clean diesel car, given the proven fuel efficiency and higher resale value – two of the key factors of the total cost of ownership.”

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