Holding 72 percent of the light-duty diesel market in the U.S., Volkswagen itself is surprised by how quickly Americans have embraced clean diesel powerplants.
Through October of this year, Volkswagen’s diesel sales have accounted for 22 percent of its total U.S. sales, a number which has exceeded expectations for the German automaker. Driving those sales is the introduction of the Passat TDI, which is the first diesel-powered midsized sedan on the U.S. market.
According to Jonathan Browning, head of VW America’s operation, the U.S. diesel market has been surprising for the brand. Volkswagen believed that many of the customers switching over to VW first and foremost would be stuck on gasoline engines. The German automaker’s original forecast was that 17 percent of Passat sales would be diesel models, but it is closer to 30 percent this year.
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