Mercedes-Benz Considering Dropping Out of U.S. Diesel Market
Nationwide Scrutiny on Diesel Could Reduce Customer Interest
One of the nation’s first champions of diesel fuel could be pulling out of the segment altogether.
Mercedes-Benz, a longtime supplier of diesel-powered passenger cars, has faced increased scrutiny as of late over its diesel engines, and with dwindling customer demand, the company may withdraw from the luxury diesel segment entirely, according to Automotive News. Compounding the problem, sales of model-year 2017 Mercedes-Benz diesels have been put on hold by the EPA due to stricter emissions testing the agency is carrying out industrywide.
Should the EPA certify the company’s diesel vehicles, we could expect a few Mercedes-Benz oil-burners to stay on the market for 2017. Currently under review are the GLE300d and GLS300d SUVs; the C300d sedan may also receive certification. In a statement given to Truck Trend in September regarding the GLS300d, spokesperson Brian Cotter said the large SUV was in the company’s plans for the 2017 model year as soon as it received EPA certification.
The company’s Bluetec clean-diesel technology had made its way into several Benz models before Volkswagen’s 2015 diesel emissions scandal raised questions about diesel vehicles’ pollution levels. In the few years prior to the scandal, Mercedes offered diesel versions of its E- and S-Class sedans and its GLK, ML, and GL-Class SUVs in the U.S. Owners of those vehicles have filed two separate lawsuits, each alleging the company used cheat devices to certify its vehicles for American sales. Those lawsuits may also be contributing to Mercedes-Benz considering dropping its U.S.-market diesel vehicles; nevertheless, the company says the claims made in each class-action suit are unfounded.
Having driven a variety of Mercedes-Benz diesels over the past several years, we hope the company will find a market on our shores for oil-burners. Its Bluetec diesel technology, which first bowed for the 2007 model year, has yielded engines that are quiet, efficient, and above all, fun to drive, and it would be a shame to lose those luxo-diesels to consumer hysteria, provided the EPA finds them within emissions compliance.
Of note, Volkswagen recently announced it would no longer market diesel vehicles in the U.S.
Source: Automotive News