Chevrolet’s decision to offer a diesel-powered Cruze compact in the U.S. is a sign that GM is testing the waters to see how American’s react to the gasoline alternative. Chrysler, says company CEO Sergio Marchionne, has much more ambitious goals for the often-criticized fuel.
Starting with the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Chrysler Group will re-introduce diesel models to the U.S. The big Jeep will be followed by a diesel powertrain option for most of the company’s large vehicles.
Chrysler predicts that compared to global diesel sales that made up 8 percent of total production in 2009, the American automaker will increase that number to 14 percent by 2014.
In addition, Marchionne admits he has little choice but to also offer hybrids in the near future. Skeptical of the technology, its cost to produce and its ability to sell in significant volumes, Marchionne says new tough fuel economy standards, that will rise from a 35.5-mpg CAFE average in 2016 to a 54.5-mpg rating in 2015, are forcing his hand. “I have no other way of getting to 2025 numbers than by going to hybrids,” he said.
The first of these hybrids set to arrive is believed to be the Chrysler 300 Hybrid, which is rumored to launch in 2013.
[Source: AutoNews via CNET]