Once known for its rotary engines, Mazda will become the first Japanese automaker to market a diesel model in the United States with its new Mazda6.
Mazda is focusing on cleaner diesel engines, 13 years after Tokyo’s governor had banned many of them from the city. As consumers continue to look for alternative powerplants to help save on rising fuel prices, diesel engines have become a viable alternative to hybrids and electric vehicles.
In addition, improved technology on filters, turbos, and fuel injection have helped diesel engines become quieter and cleaner than they were 13 years ago. According to Mazda, 80 percent of its orders on the CX-5 SUV and Mazda6 sedan in Japan this year have been for the diesel model, despite costing almost 20 percent more than the gasoline counterpart.
Estimates have global sales of diesel cars to rise 66 percent from 2010 to 2018 to a total of 22 million with growth coming mainly from North America, Eastern Europe, and Asia. With the Mazda6 diesel hitting American soil next year, the Japanese automaker expects global sales of its sedan to hit 240,000 while the CX-5 SUV will be set at 190,000.
Meanwhile, diesel sales in America are expected to triple by 2018.
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[Source: Automotive News]