Blog: Dave LeggettDiesels deja vu

Dave Leggett | 30 January 2008

Hearing about the clean diesels struggle for initial market acceptance in the US reminds me very much of the situation in the UK not so many years ago. Perceptions in the market lag and they change slowly. But eventually, word gets around that diesels aren't necessarily dirty, slow or noisy ('diesel knock').

And in the case of the US, there will also be the notion that you will be queuing at the filling station with freight trucks.

It just takes a few years to get to that market breakthrough or tipping point when the general view of diesels among consumers has become a lot less negative. Manufacturers will have to be patient, but getting the product out there - for word of mouth to start to work - is stage one. Conditions in the US are right for diesels to gain more acceptance, but it won't happen overnight.

That said, Bob Lutz has a good point about the relative petrol/diesel cost differences in the US compared with Europe, suggesting that some diesel market penetration forecasts for the US may be a tad optimistic.

US: Diesels battling for consumer acceptance


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