Volkswagen is proving that diesels may have a future in North America. Introduced in August, VW has sold out this year’s allocation of about 1,300 Jettai TDi "clean" diesels . It’s a good start for diesels, but in a slow year like 2007, 16.14 million cars total were bought in the U.S.
About a month ago, Volkswagen was predicting that diesels would make up 25 percent of Jetta sedan sales in the United States and a third of all wagon sales.
Volkswagen credits part of the reason for the sales success is that is already established itself as a provider of diesel cars in the U.S. (it began selling diesel rabbits as early as 1976 and the latest direct-injection diesels from almost a decade.) VW sees this sales victory as a sign to expand its diesel line up including the return of the diesel-powered Rabbit when a redesigned version goes on sale next year.
Although Volkswagen promotes the fuel efficiency of its diesels, "we are not competing with Prius," said Stefan Jacoby, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America.
If Volkswagen really wants to up it millage with the oil burners, it could start selling cars with the small diesel engines know as "BlueMotion". Already on sale in Europe, the Jetta version is expected to get at least 40 mpg.