Diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz cars are dead in the United States

Article by Christian A., on January 24, 2018

In the United States, diesel engines were never really that big. Sales of cars with diesel engines were even more dismal. And if there is one type of vehicle where diesel has had the most success, it would be the pickup trucks. In fact, automakers like Ford, Chevrolet, and Ram now offer diesel options in half-ton trucks. Meanwhile, Chevy offers a diesel in its mid-size Colorado, Jeep, on the other hand will soon offer its new Wrangler with a diesel model.

Clearly, there are disadvantages to offering diesel variants. Mercedes-Benz has decided to scrap its plan to offer it in its lineup. In fact, the only model it has that still has this engine is its Sprinter van. Ola Kallenius, who oversees Mercedes’ research and development, said that there is simply not enough demand for this in the United States for them to justify the extra effort.

He told The Detroit Bureau during the 2018 Detroit Auto Show that the diesel engine just does not fit into the US portfolio. But instead, it does much better in complying with the standard for emissions in Europe.

When he said that, we assume that what he meant was that there are differences in emission standards between the US and Europe. This is because in Europe, they focus on restricting carbon emissions instead of nitrogen oxide and particulate matter. And in the US, they have tighter regulations on all these. And even without factoring in emissions, the best they did in the US when it comes to sales of diesel powered engines only amounted to 3 percent of total sales.

Moreover, Mercedes doesn’t want to deal with the repercussions from the Dieselgate scandal, especially after Volkswagen admitted to cheating on emissions. For one year, automakers were being watched for diesel engines they produced and sold.

In fact, Mercedes-Benz gave up trying to get certification for its 2017 model-year diesels last May. This is because their increased effort led to a decision to put U.S. spec diesel cars on hold, but now, it seems like this has become permanent. Mercedes had placed diesel-engine cars on the backburner as it apparently does have a lot on its plate with its ongoing development of electric versions of their vehicles.

It should also be mentioned that one of the main reasons why the Sprinter is doing well in the United States is the growing e-Commerce sector. There’s a high demand for these vans to deliver packages for items ordered online.

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