Mercedes-Benz may stop sales of diesel-powered vehicles in the US

Article by Christian A., on November 22, 2016

There may be bad news for Mercedes-Benz drivers in the United States who love its diesel offerings and have been waiting for the latest iteration of their favorite diesel models to arrive in the country. Well, it is just that Mercedes is now mulling to stop selling the diesel versions of its premium luxury lineup in the US, no thanks to declining demand for its offerings and to the stricter implementation of emissions regulations and rules in the country.

This comes after Mercedes dropped plans to offer the diesel-powered Mercedes C300d 4Matic to the United States. Mercedes C300d 4Matic was supposed to commence sales of the Mercedes-Benz C300d 4Matic in the US months ago and had postponed those plans. Supposed to be the US version equivalent of the C250d 4Matic that is being sold in Europe, the US-spec C300d 4Matic was previewed June 2015 with a near-production prototype at the Pikes Peak, where it posted a new record for a series production car with a course time of 11.37 minutes.

Mercedes said at the time that the drive C300d could return 42 mpg on the highway and could be the first diesel model that would undercut the American ULEV 70 emissions limits. The C300d 4Matic was powered by a turbodiesel four-cylinder, 2.1-liter engine delivering 201 hp (150 kW) of output from 3,800 rpm and 369 pound-feet (500 Nm) of torque available at 1,600 rpm.

No thanks to the ongoing Dieselgate scandal in the US involving Volkswagen Group’s diesel offerings, it has become more time-consuming and challenging to have new diesel models to be certified by the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States. Apparently, Mercedes believes that making all the time and effort to have the C300d 4Matic certified in the US is not worth it, especially as it is expecting sales to be not that high.

Mercedes is now focusing its efforts to the diesel version of the GLS – the V6-powered GLS 350d -- certified in the US. Currently, the German automaker is focused on getting EPA approval for the GLS 350d, powered by a V6 diesel engine. Mercedes is also trying to have the diesel versions of the GLC and GLE certified by EPA, and remains confident that approval for most cases would be given.

This could be the same reason why Mercedes is considering dropping its entire diesel lineup in the US. Matthias Luehrs, vice president of sales and product management for Mercedes-Benz Cars, remarked that the carmaker is currently in the process of dropping some of its diesel offerings in the US. Luehrs has confirmed to Automotive News that demand for diesel cars in the US is low and “is still lowering” in the recent years.

To further prove that, Mercedes is currently conducting a marketing research over the demand for diesel cars in the US. Luehrs said that depending on the result of the research, Mercedes will rethink its model strategy and could – as a theoretical option – stop selling all diesel vehicles in the US.

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