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US diesel sales rose 27.4-percent in 2011 while hybrid sales dropped 2.2-percent, numbers that reflect a changing automotive climate in America and fly in the face of conventional stereotypes about diesel cars.
But thanks to offerings from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and the Volkswagen Group, diesel-powered passenger vehicle sales are on the rise in America. The 2.2-percent decrease in hybrid sales is, however, a little bit misleading, due to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the floods in Thailand. Both those natural disasters affected the production and availability of America’s most popular hybrids, including Toyota‘s Prius.
Nonetheless, expectations are high for diesel sales with Baum and Associates stating that sales could more than double from 3-percent of the market today to 6- to 6.5-percent by 2015. J.D. Power & Associates believes the US diesel market share could increase to 7.4-percent by 2017.
To aid in the projections, American and Japanese automakers are also expected to introduce diesel variants of their models in North America including GM’s new Cadillac ATS, as well as the Chevrolet Cruze, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Mazda CX-5.
The results for the most successful cars of 2011 so far are in. Automotive data and marketing solutions company Polk has calculated the results from the first six months of 2011 new vehicle registrations and have come up with the top picks for non-premium and premium models.
These results look at model-level performance and determine which ones are doing well so far this year. It’s also important to note that the March Japanese earthquake/tsunamis have had an impact on these results, and the inventory shortages for Toyota and Honda caused by the disaster have impacted the June 2011 CYTD (Calendar Year To Date) retail results for these brands.
Here’s a list of the winners so far, along with the June 2011 CYTD year-over-year improvements in new retail registrations.
1. Hyundai Sonata (+32%)
2. Volkswagen Jetta (+69%)
3. Ford Fiesta (not on sale in 2010)
4. Chevrolet Cruze/Cobalt (+178%)
5. Jeep Grand Cherokee (+170%)
Other non-premium models that performed well in the first half of 2011 include the Optima, Regal, 200/Sebring, Durango, Elantra and Equinox.
1. Cadillac CTS (+54%)
2. BMW 5-Series (+56%)
3. Jaguar XJ (+273%)
4. Porsche Cayenne (+178%)
5. BMW X3 (+276%)
An honorable mention goes out to the Volvo S60, another premium model that has performed well in 2011.