Chevrolet Aiming for Disaffected VW Buyers With Cruze Diesel
GM Believes North America “One of Few” Diesel Growth Markets
Volkswagen was one of the most aggressive promoters of diesel cars until the discovery of the automaker’s emissions cheating, subsequent public shaming, and hugely expensive fines from the EPA and CARB. VW has made an apparent abrupt pivot to electric vehicle development and will downplay its diesel models in the U.S., most of which are still on a sales freeze pending final approval of a fix for the excess NOx emissions. However, one company is still doggedly pursuing the diesel passenger car market despite the seemingly inhospitable regulatory and consumer sentiment environment. Plans for the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze diesel are proceeding, and at least publicly, General Motors is bullish on its prospects, Automotive News reports.
The new diesel is GM’s ultraquiet 1.6L I-4 Whisper diesel. In Europe, the engine produces 136 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. GM projects it will be the most fuel-efficient nonhybrid vehicle on the market when it debuts. Dan Nicholson, GM vice president for global propulsion systems, says the company plans on aggressively pursuing disaffected VW diesel owners, whom he claims still want a diesel despite the technology’s “clean” image being somewhat sullied by the VW scandal. Nicholson claims sales of the 2.8L Duramax I-4 diesel in the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize trucks are meeting expectations.
Source: Automotive News