Diesel Sales Rise Dramatically

With fuel prices hitting new highs, consumers are increasingly turning
to diesel-powered vehicles, according to a new analysis of data from
R.L. Polk & Co. It shows that annual registrations of new diesel
passenger vehicles in the United States — including light trucks, SUVs
and cars — is up almost 56 percent over the last five years: from
301,000 diesel vehicles in 2000 to nearly 470,000 diesel registrations
in 2004.

When a choice is available, nearly 40 percent of buyers chose a
diesel option since 2000. Among buyers of the Chevrolet Silverado, Dodge
Ram, Ford F-Series and GMC Sierra pickups, almost 60 percent checked
off the diesel option in 2004. Diesels are typically 20-40 percent more
fuel efficient than comparable gasoline-powered engines.

Four new light-duty diesel models were introduced in the United
States in 2004: Jeep Liberty CRD, Mercedes E-320 CDI, and VW Passat and
Touareg SUV.


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