Mercedes-Benz, Audi seek to double diesel-engine offerings in the U.S.

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 11, 2011

As diesel engines have experienced a renewed popularity, Mercedes-Benz and Audi aim to double their diesel offerings in the U.S. to reel in the luxury buyers. And it certainly has believers in high places as Cher has been reported to have chosen to test a Mercedes diesel instead of opting for a hybrid.

Last October, Tom Brown, a 57-year-old retired Navy lieutenant commander bought a Mercedes E-Class diesel, his third diesel car. Brown, a resident of Hillsborough, N.C., said that he started out with a diesel tractor and because of that familiarity, he decided to examine diesel-powered passenger vehicles.

He found out that there actually isn’t much downside since the new clean diesels are “quiet, efficient, and the fuel is available.”

Sales of diesel vehicles are increasing as they’ve now become more accepted. It can be recalled that in the last two decades, sales dwindled in the U.S. due to noise issues as well as health concerns.

Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus hybrid has been very successful and to catch up, diesel is now being promoted by Mercedes, Volkswagen AG's Audi and luxury leader BMW AG. At the Detroit auto show, Daimler AG's Mercedes will introduce a diesel flagship S-Class, the brand's fifth U.S. diesel model.

This four-wheel-drive model can achieve a fuel rating of about 35 miles (56 kilometers) per gallon. It will start selling in the second half of the year. Mercedes’ product management vice president Philipp Schiemer said that the company will be offering eight diesels in the U.S. by 2014. [via autonews - sub. required]

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