Ricardo plc, a technology provider and strategic consultant to the world's
automotive industries, and UBS, a leading financial firm, are predicting a big rise in diesel sales by 2012.
According to their press release:
At present, hybrid gasoline technology appears to be the preferred route in the United States, not least due to its attraction as a visible badge of green awareness amongst higher income purchasers.
But they feel that diesel vehicles have an advantage when it comes to manufacturing cost. And this is despite the added cost of fitting complex exhaust after-treatment technologies in order to pass the more stringent emissions regulations.
Ricardo is predicting 15 percent of the US light vehicle market will be hybrid or diesel cars by 2012. They believe that diesel sales will rise to 1.5 million units, while hybrids will be at 1.2 million units.
They feel that European automakers who dominate diesel sales in Europe will benefit the most from such a shift.
What this means to you (to borrow from Edmunds and others), or in other words, what's my opinion about this? Not much. Such a huge shift upwards in diesel sales would be highly surprising to me. Diesels still suffer from a bad image and despite any shift in who the EMA places into diesel cars in the next few years, five years seems like too short a time for people to shift their buying patterns in such a radical manner.
BTW, for those of wondering about the EMA reference: According to CNNMoney, they're the PR group in Hollywood making sure your favorite stars are being seen in hybrid cars and alternative vehicles because Toyota has paid them nearly $100,000,000 to push hybrids into the household vernacular. The same article is hinting that EMA is looking to help out Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and VW/Audi in their push for diesels.