In an interview with Automotive News, Jim O’Donnell, CEO of BMW North America, has reiterated that BMW remains committed to its diesel strategy in the U.S. even if more hybrid vehicles will emerge in the near future.
Mr. O’Donnell indicated that the diesel vehicles are better suited to some of the larger models than the hybrid or electric powertrains. He also stated that the diesels fit BMW’s performance image better than the other options.
Since the beginning of this year, BMWUSA sold over 2,600 diesel vehicles, 335d and X5d.
The $4,500 Eco-Credit has also helped boost the sales for the two diesel offerings with most of the dealers running out of 3 Series diesel sedans.
As far as future plans, BMW is hoping for 10%-20% diesel penetration in U.S and also the introduction of new diesel vehicles on the market. The one mentioned by Mr. O’Donnell was a diesel variant of the next generation 5 Series due to launch next year.
While we’re big fans of the existing diesel offerings here in the U.S., we are still more excited about the four cylinder diesel powerplants that are very popular amongst European buyers. It has been rumored for years now that the powerful four cylinder turbocharged diesel will come to the U.S., but unfortunately no official confirmation has ever been issued. In a recent unveiling, BMW showcased the power of a diesel engine in its latest three-cylinder engine fitted in the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept.
The latest BMW online and TV advertising efforts revolved around the 335d and X5d, an effort meant to spike up U.S. consumer’s interest for this new, clean technology and also to build awareness.[Source: Automotive News ]