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Author Topic: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US  (Read 973 times)

Chrysler375Freeway

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Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« on: September 02, 2022, 01:34:39 AM »

I took a trip to Europe last fall, and saw many diesel cars, and even drove one (the forbidden-fruit Volkswagen GTD, which is essentially a diesel GTI). When I returned across the Atlantic, the only diesel cars I saw were VW TDIs that saw the recall related to Dieselgate, and some diesel-powered Jeeps and Chevy Cruzes. It makes me ask why the diesel car take rate and amount of vehicles offering diesel outside of the categories of vehicles I mention later where diesels are common is so low in America (leaving diesels restricted to heavy-duty light trucks, some military vehicles, heavy machinery and commercial vehicles) when the take rate is so high in markets such as Japan (where over 1.5 million are on the roads) and France (where almost 60% of all passenger vehicles sold are diesel-powered, in spite of a steadily rising plug-in EV take rate) although this will mainly focus on the take rate in the American market compared to European markets, and I know Europe has been cracking down on diesels in recent years, especially after Dieselgate, and incentivizing EVs.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2022, 09:02:27 AM »

GM killed the reputation of the Diesel market in the 1970s and 1980s.  Volkswagen buried it for good with their emissions cheating scandal once it was finally making a slight foothold.
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Re: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2022, 11:09:12 AM »

I believe the US has different emissions standards to Europe when it comes to Diesel engines as well, something to do with NOx. When the 2nd generation Acura TSX came out in 2009, they wanted to bring over Honda’s 2.2L diesel four that was in the car in Europe (where it was sold as an Accord), but it didn’t meet US emissions standards so they shoehorned the TL’s V6 into the car as an option instead. Mazda also tried to get their Skyactiv diesel certified for the US for some time, unsuccessfully.
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SP Cook

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Re: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2022, 01:21:01 PM »

Owned several Diesels.  What killed it in the US?  IMHO:

- GM.  It made a Diesel out of the small block Chevy V8, rather than design one from clean sheet.  And, because the main Diesel cars of that era were in German luxury brands, stuck the thing in a lot of Oldsmobiles and Cadillacs.  It was garbage.

- Taxes.  Some states tax Diesel way more than gasoline, as a way of sticking to to truckers, who don’t vote there.  This can make the spread between the two so large that the savings are diminished or eliminated.

- VW #1.  People forget that the first “transplant” (auto factory in the USA owned by a non-US based company) was VW.  Assembly plant outside Pittsburgh and a stamping plant in Charleston, WV.  The stamping plant was worn out when VW bought it, and the assembly plant had a hostile work force that thought they were doing the world a favor by working, and were in an area where the skilled trades needed in auto assembly were not common.  Build quality was way below VW’s high standard.  Nothing to do with the engines (which were imported from Germany) but it soured people, many of whom sought out the Diesel during the second so-called gas crisis, on the whole company.

- Isuzu, et al.  During the above mentioned “crisis” lots of companies slapped whatever Diesel they could find in their smaller cars.  Engines that were not designed for that car or even for automotive purposes.  Often wedged in, which caused over-heating and service issues.  Often ill paired with the transmission. 

- Toyota.  What?  Well, Toyota makes awesome Diesels.  They just don’t sell them here.  When the world leader in quality and innovation writes off the technology for a whole continent, it tells you something.

- EPA.  Insane extremist rules.  As per usual. 

- Dealers.  Back in my day, there were these things called “car dealers” who kept cars for sale which they had ordered ahead and you went to these places and picked out a new car from the ones they had for sale.  Yeah, seems like a long time ago.  Anyway, many dealers would just not keep Diesels on the lot, had to be ordered, because a lot of people would not consider the Diesel and they might sit on the lot for a long time.  Wasn’t worth the trouble of ordering.

- Service.  Diesel mechanic is a different job.  Most dealers just had regular auto (aka gasoline) mechanics do the services. 

- VW#2.  The “Dieselgate” deal, which I never understood, killed it for the car market, probably for all time.
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2022, 01:38:47 PM »

The GM diesel block came from the Oldsmobile V8 and not from the small-block Chevy-V8.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldsmobile_Diesel_engine
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Chrysler375Freeway

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Re: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2022, 01:39:11 PM »

Owned several Diesels.  What killed it in the US?  IMHO:

- GM.  It made a Diesel out of the small block Chevy V8, rather than design one from clean sheet.  And, because the main Diesel cars of that era were in German luxury brands, stuck the thing in a lot of Oldsmobiles and Cadillacs.  It was garbage.

- Taxes.  Some states tax Diesel way more than gasoline, as a way of sticking to to truckers, who don’t vote there.  This can make the spread between the two so large that the savings are diminished or eliminated.

- VW #1.  People forget that the first “transplant” (auto factory in the USA owned by a non-US based company) was VW.  Assembly plant outside Pittsburgh and a stamping plant in Charleston, WV.  The stamping plant was worn out when VW bought it, and the assembly plant had a hostile work force that thought they were doing the world a favor by working, and were in an area where the skilled trades needed in auto assembly were not common.  Build quality was way below VW’s high standard.  Nothing to do with the engines (which were imported from Germany) but it soured people, many of whom sought out the Diesel during the second so-called gas crisis, on the whole company.

- Isuzu, et al.  During the above mentioned “crisis” lots of companies slapped whatever Diesel they could find in their smaller cars.  Engines that were not designed for that car or even for automotive purposes.  Often wedged in, which caused over-heating and service issues.  Often ill paired with the transmission. 

- Toyota.  What?  Well, Toyota makes awesome Diesels.  They just don’t sell them here.  When the world leader in quality and innovation writes off the technology for a whole continent, it tells you something.

- EPA.  Insane extremist rules.  As per usual. 

- Dealers.  Back in my day, there were these things called “car dealers” who kept cars for sale which they had ordered ahead and you went to these places and picked out a new car from the ones they had for sale.  Yeah, seems like a long time ago.  Anyway, many dealers would just not keep Diesels on the lot, had to be ordered, because a lot of people would not consider the Diesel and they might sit on the lot for a long time.  Wasn’t worth the trouble of ordering.

- Service.  Diesel mechanic is a different job.  Most dealers just had regular auto (aka gasoline) mechanics do the services. 

- VW#2.  The “Dieselgate” deal, which I never understood, killed it for the car market, probably for all time.
I know BMW and Mercedes-Benz also sold diesel cars until 2018 for the American market, dropping them altogether, and, for Mercedes, restricting them to the Sprinter. Isuzu had also sold a diesel version of its pickup truck on the American market.
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Chrysler375Freeway

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Re: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2022, 01:40:23 PM »

I believe the US has different emissions standards to Europe when it comes to Diesel engines as well, something to do with NOx. When the 2nd generation Acura TSX came out in 2009, they wanted to bring over Honda’s 2.2L diesel four that was in the car in Europe (where it was sold as an Accord), but it didn’t meet US emissions standards so they shoehorned the TL’s V6 into the car as an option instead. Mazda also tried to get their Skyactiv diesel certified for the US for some time, unsuccessfully.
And BMW and Mercedes-Benz: They had diesel cars, but pulled the plug after 2018.
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Chrysler375Freeway

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Re: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2022, 06:40:16 PM »

GM killed the reputation of the Diesel market in the 1970s and 1980s.  Volkswagen buried it for good with their emissions cheating scandal once it was finally making a slight foothold.
Also:
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (now Stellantis) was told that over 100,000 Dodge Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee trucks, had software that allowed them to exceed NOx pollution limits, undetected by the usual testing methods. The EPA discovered this during their expanded vehicle tests following the Volkswagen case. Also, in Europe, Jeep GC diesel emissions exceeded the European limit.
Opel was discovered to have used defeat devices on its Zafira in 2015. NOx emissions were within the 80 mg/km legal limit – but only when the vehicle was on a test stand, with the front wheels rotating and the rear wheels being stationary. When the rear, unpowered wheels were made to rotate too (which is how a front-wheel-drive vehicle behaves on the road), the NOx emission were twice the limit (cold engine) or three to four times the limit (warmed-up engine).
Nissan had been caught using defeat devices by South Korean officials, which manipulated emissions data, and emissions exceeded the European limit.
Renault had Clios and Kapturs emitting more pollutants outside of official test conditions, their exhaust treatment did not work in everyday use when the outside temperature range was below or above those covering official tests. Furthermore, their "NOx trap" devices did not run cleaning cycles below 31 mph, causing those filters to clog and become ineffective.
Mercedes-Benz was discovered by U.S. and German authorities to have used defeat devices, which they denied in the U.S., but authorities discovered a defeat device include a Bit 15 mode to switch off emissions control after 16 miles of driving (the length of an official U.S. emissions test), and Slipguard which tries to directly determine if the car is being tested based on speed and acceleration profiles. Daimler was fined £870M for their scandal.
BMW was discovered to have their vehicles producing several times more nitrogen oxide emissions than laboratory tests suggested. They were accused of colluding with Robert Bosch GmbH and LLC to produce defeat software to hide the cars' true emissions.
These are also more notable recent cases.
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1995hoo

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Re: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2022, 07:48:32 AM »

I believe the US has different emissions standards to Europe when it comes to Diesel engines as well, something to do with NOx. When the 2nd generation Acura TSX came out in 2009, they wanted to bring over Honda’s 2.2L diesel four that was in the car in Europe (where it was sold as an Accord), but it didn’t meet US emissions standards so they shoehorned the TL’s V6 into the car as an option instead. Mazda also tried to get their Skyactiv diesel certified for the US for some time, unsuccessfully.

Mazda actually did succeed in getting the diesel certified; for the 2019 model year, there was a diesel version of the CX-5 SUV for sale in the USA. But it was expensive (I believe it started at $41,000) and the regular gas engine was reasonably efficient already such that the diesel didn’t really represent any major gain over the gas version for the average American consumer.

Here in Virginia, a barrier to diesels for people who understand fuel costs has to do with taxation. The Commonwealth taxes gas differently from diesel. People who own diesel passenger vehicles are eligible for a certain rebate on portions of the diesel tax in order to make the fuel cost more equivalent to gas, but the recordkeeping is a hassle and you have to send in various details twice a year to get the rebate.
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Chrysler375Freeway

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Re: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2022, 07:28:09 PM »

I believe the US has different emissions standards to Europe when it comes to Diesel engines as well, something to do with NOx. When the 2nd generation Acura TSX came out in 2009, they wanted to bring over Honda’s 2.2L diesel four that was in the car in Europe (where it was sold as an Accord), but it didn’t meet US emissions standards so they shoehorned the TL’s V6 into the car as an option instead. Mazda also tried to get their Skyactiv diesel certified for the US for some time, unsuccessfully.

Mazda actually did succeed in getting the diesel certified; for the 2019 model year, there was a diesel version of the CX-5 SUV for sale in the USA. But it was expensive (I believe it started at $41,000) and the regular gas engine was reasonably efficient already such that the diesel didn’t really represent any major gain over the gas version for the average American consumer.

Here in Virginia, a barrier to diesels for people who understand fuel costs has to do with taxation. The Commonwealth taxes gas differently from diesel. People who own diesel passenger vehicles are eligible for a certain rebate on portions of the diesel tax in order to make the fuel cost more equivalent to gas, but the recordkeeping is a hassle and you have to send in various details twice a year to get the rebate.
Ford planned to introduce its EcoBlue diesel engines in the U.S.-market 2020 Transit, but pulled the plug before launch.
In California, strict CARB (California Air Resources Board) regulations have kept some diesel models from being sold new there, like the 2005-2006 Jeep Liberty CRD and some 2005-10 Jeep Grand Cherokee CRDs (which also could not be sold new in 4 other states), even if they could be sold new elsewhere. The strict emissions are barriers to some diesel vehicles in CA, as they can't be sold new there due to regulatory requirements. Sales tax on diesel (except dyed diesel) is also higher in California, at 13% (68 cents) compared to 2.25%+district taxes (53 cents) for gas.
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SectorZ

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Re: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2022, 08:23:41 AM »

I believe the US has different emissions standards to Europe when it comes to Diesel engines as well, something to do with NOx. When the 2nd generation Acura TSX came out in 2009, they wanted to bring over Honda’s 2.2L diesel four that was in the car in Europe (where it was sold as an Accord), but it didn’t meet US emissions standards so they shoehorned the TL’s V6 into the car as an option instead. Mazda also tried to get their Skyactiv diesel certified for the US for some time, unsuccessfully.

Mazda actually did succeed in getting the diesel certified; for the 2019 model year, there was a diesel version of the CX-5 SUV for sale in the USA. But it was expensive (I believe it started at $41,000) and the regular gas engine was reasonably efficient already such that the diesel didn’t really represent any major gain over the gas version for the average American consumer.

My 2021 CX-5 has a walled-off DEF filler next to the gasoline fuel filler because they still have the same design among all CX-5 models in North America and Canada still gets that diesel variant.
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abefroman329

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Re: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2022, 11:17:25 AM »

I believe the US has different emissions standards to Europe when it comes to Diesel engines as well, something to do with NOx. When the 2nd generation Acura TSX came out in 2009, they wanted to bring over Honda’s 2.2L diesel four that was in the car in Europe (where it was sold as an Accord), but it didn’t meet US emissions standards so they shoehorned the TL’s V6 into the car as an option instead. Mazda also tried to get their Skyactiv diesel certified for the US for some time, unsuccessfully.

Mazda actually did succeed in getting the diesel certified; for the 2019 model year, there was a diesel version of the CX-5 SUV for sale in the USA. But it was expensive (I believe it started at $41,000) and the regular gas engine was reasonably efficient already such that the diesel didn’t really represent any major gain over the gas version for the average American consumer.

My 2021 CX-5 has a walled-off DEF filler next to the gasoline fuel filler because they still have the same design among all CX-5 models in North America and Canada still gets that diesel variant.
Interesting - my 2021 Tucson has a walled-off fuel filler, I wonder if it's a diesel filler as well.
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Takumi

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Re: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2022, 11:51:13 AM »

I believe the US has different emissions standards to Europe when it comes to Diesel engines as well, something to do with NOx. When the 2nd generation Acura TSX came out in 2009, they wanted to bring over Honda’s 2.2L diesel four that was in the car in Europe (where it was sold as an Accord), but it didn’t meet US emissions standards so they shoehorned the TL’s V6 into the car as an option instead. Mazda also tried to get their Skyactiv diesel certified for the US for some time, unsuccessfully.

Mazda actually did succeed in getting the diesel certified; for the 2019 model year, there was a diesel version of the CX-5 SUV for sale in the USA. But it was expensive (I believe it started at $41,000) and the regular gas engine was reasonably efficient already such that the diesel didn’t really represent any major gain over the gas version for the average American consumer.

My 2021 CX-5 has a walled-off DEF filler next to the gasoline fuel filler because they still have the same design among all CX-5 models in North America and Canada still gets that diesel variant.
Interesting - my 2021 Tucson has a walled-off fuel filler, I wonder if it's a diesel filler as well.
Could be. There was a diesel version in other markets, and 2021 was the last year the North American Tucson was produced in South Korea alongside versions for other markets. For 2022 the North American ones started being built in Alabama.
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abefroman329

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Re: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2022, 12:08:13 PM »

For 2022 the North American ones started being built in Alabama.
Phew, that means ours wasn't built with child labor.
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Takumi

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Re: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2022, 01:52:08 PM »

For 2022 the North American ones started being built in Alabama.
Phew, that means ours wasn't built with child labor.
It’s pretty impressive how quickly that scandal disappeared from the press.
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abefroman329

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Re: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2022, 02:55:49 PM »

For 2022 the North American ones started being built in Alabama.
Phew, that means ours wasn't built with child labor.
It’s pretty impressive how quickly that scandal disappeared from the press.
I didn't even know about it until my wife mentioned it.
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SectorZ

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Re: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2022, 04:20:17 PM »

For 2022 the North American ones started being built in Alabama.
Phew, that means ours wasn't built with child labor.
It’s pretty impressive how quickly that scandal disappeared from the press.
I didn't even know about it until my wife mentioned it.

I didn't even know about this until your comment and had to search the web to get the reference.

Who the hell sends their 12 year old off to work?
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abefroman329

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Re: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2022, 04:30:48 PM »

Who the hell sends their 12 year old off to work?
It builds character.
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SectorZ

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Re: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2022, 06:03:41 PM »

Who the hell sends their 12 year old off to work?
It builds character.

I don't know why but I just busted out laughing at that response. Thank you for that. :clap:
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abefroman329

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Re: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2022, 02:17:31 PM »

Who the hell sends their 12 year old off to work?
It builds character.

I don't know why but I just busted out laughing at that response. Thank you for that. :clap:
Ha, thanks - I could think of a few snarky responses, but couldn't decide on just one.
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Chris

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Re: Diesel Car Market: EU vs US
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2022, 03:47:50 PM »

The diesel share of new passenger cars is declining quite substantially in Europe. In some countries like the Netherlands it's almost entirely gone and this has mostly to do with tax incentives.

Diesel cars get a better mileage, they consume less fuel than gasoline cars. However this gap has narrowed with gasoline cars getting better fuel economy, as well as the introduction of battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. These vehicles are typically incentivized by governments, usually in the form of lower taxes. These (semi) EVs are largely replacing diesel cars.

Additionally, quite a large number of cities across Europe have introduced environmental zones where older diesel cars cannot enter. The entry restrictions vary by city or region, some only ban the oldest emission standards, others almost all except the newest.

For example, London has introduced the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) which has expanded in size geographically and only allows Euro 6 diesel cars, which is the most recent emission standard since 2015. Diesel cars like that often have AdBlue (called DEF in North America) to deal with the NOx issue. DEF was previously only applied to commercial trucks but have been introduced in cars as well.

The environmental zones are often strict for diesel cars, but not for gasoline cars, as even older gasoline cars don't emit as many particles and NOx, some permit entry for late 1990s gasoline cars but only Euro 6 (2015) diesel cars.

 


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