Mercedes-benz to Double Sales of Diesel Cars, Suvs in the US

By: Anthony Fontanelle

The luxury car unit of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz the producer of high quality has announced recently that it may double the sales of its diesel vehicles in the US after successfully meeting the emission regulations in all states.

The Bluetec diesel motors equipped on Mercedes cars and sport utility vehicles were able to comply with the country's strictest emission requirements especially in the state of California and because of this the luxury car maker will finally start marketing its vehicles in the US.

According to Ernst Lieb, the unit's chief executive officer for the US, "When we're able to have diesel in all states we'll be in a position to possibly double the number of diesels we sell." In an interview in New York, Mr. Lieb said that the models to be offered in the US will include cleaner models such as the re-engined versions of the M, GL and the R-Class SUVs.

The coming of Mercedes vehicles in the US is just perfect since according to the study conducted by J.D. Power & Associates, diesel's share in the US car and light-truck market is likely to quadruple to 11.8 percent by 2015. This is attributed to the fact that automakers are already responding to calls and demands for emission controlled vehicles. Likewise, the fuel that powers half of the new cars distributed in Europe has been blocked from entering US since consumers associate it with heavy trucks and aside from that most of the gas stations in the US don't offer it.

In California and in four other US states sales of new diesel autos are restricted since diesel vehicles are believed to emit soot and gases that are linked to heart and lung disease. The luxury unit of Daimler AG has started selling a diesel version of its E-320 sedan in all 50 states since its Bluetec engine was able to meet up with the emission standards required in the US.

Mercedes-Benz will also offer its new GLK small SUV on the market in early part of 2009 which Mr. Lieb said will provide that extra boost to sales. The GLK will be made to compete with BMW's X3.

Daimler for this year is predicting record sales in the US which happens to be its second-largest market. Mr. Lieb further stressed that at present the company has no plans of offering the B-Class compact van in the US. The efforts to sell the model were dropped in 2005 attributed to the plunging of the dollar against the euro thereby reducing the vehicle's profitability.

For this year the dollar has declined by 4.8 percent as compared to the European currency bringing the record to as low as $1.4967 on November 23.

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