Another Diesel Bites the Dust

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Because Uncle:

Mercedes-Benz will take at least a year longer than once planned to introduce the diesel-powered version of the C-class sedan.

The C300d had been slated to go on sale in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2016. Timing for a diesel version of the GLC compact crossover also has slipped from the 2016 time frame that executives mentioned last year. A Mercedes spokesman said there is no firm date for either vehicle’s release.

“The latest plan is sometime in 2017 (mid-2017 is a reasonable estimate, not firm), but this is certainly subject to change,” the spokesman, Rob Moran, wrote in an email.

The delay comes in the wake of Volkswagen’s diesel emissions violations and more intense U.S. regulatory scrutiny of all models, especially diesels. Other automakers, such as BMW and Porsche, have also had to push back the launch of diesel models in the U.S.

Mercedes sells one diesel model in the U.S., the 2016 GLE300d. The company plans to introduce the 2017 diesel version of the GLE midsize crossover by year end, Moran said, as well as the 2017 GLS350d, the diesel version of the brand’s large SUV.

2016 was always going to be a light year for diesels for Mercedes, Dietmar Exler, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, said in May. Diesel models are more prevalent on the crossover side of the Mercedes lineup, and the brand has updated nearly its entire roster of crossovers and SUVs over the last year. Diesel models usually lag gasoline models by up to a year, Exler said.

“We are a little bit in the lower-volume selling for diesels right now, anyhow,” Exler said. “But we would have been there no matter what — because of the launch schedule.”

 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Perhaps, from an economic and business point of view, it is not advisable to release the new diesels out as originally planned.

    The VW scandal certainly diminished consumer confidence. Of course, many understand that the scandal really had nothing to do with the viability of the diesel engine itself. Nonetheless, many others have reacted negatively.

    Some time is needed for the wounds to heal. This entire debacle is unfortunate. Especially for people that want to drive diesel vehicles.

    • Hi MadMan,

      The last time something like this happened – back in the early ’80s/the GM “converted diesel scandal” – it soured the public on diesels for decades. This time, though, it’s different because it’s not the diesel engine’s design that’s the problem. The government has put too many regulatory impediments in the way to make them viable as economical engines. In heavy trucks and luxury cars, they’ll still be available for the few buyers willing to pay and who don’t mind the now not-so-hot efficiency. But we won’t see them again in modestly priced cars unless Uncle eases off.

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