You might have heard recently that diesel is all the rage in the American auto market right now as more and more automakers are introducing diesel models that are just flying off dealer lots left and right. The reality is different from the hype, which is clearly illustrated by the sales performance of the award-winning and revolutionary Chevrolet Cruze Diesel.
The model launched almost one year ago, and so far almost nobody knows its exits. Of course, many Americans don’t realize that every VW with a “TDI” badge is also diesel-powered vehicle. Back to the Cruze Diesel, which is the first GM passenger vehicle powered by diesel in 28 years, and which is just isn’t selling like hot cakes. Over the past year, diesel models have constituted only 2 percent of all Cruze sales, with 5,974 units sold. While some might say that there are a lot of Cruze sales, it’s key to understand that Chevy was projecting before the car launched that it would make up 10 percent of Cruze sales.
In comparison, Jetta TDI sales added up to 46,409 during the past year. That’s a direct competitor to the Cruze Diesel, and that’s a complete sales smackdown.
Any relief for the Cruze Diesel doesn’t seem to be on the way. For the period of July through December of 2013, 2,979 units were sold in the United States, while in the first six months of 2014 2,995 units were sold. In other words, sales of the car are pretty flat. If Chevrolet wants its little diesel car to really thrive, it needs to start figuring out why consumers aren’t going for it. Do they not know how efficient the car is? The performance benefits it offers? That the engine is actually of Italian origin? That it outperforms the Jetta TDI in just about every conceivable way?