The Diesel Car Myths

By: Chuck Smith

A couple of years back, Richard A. Wright, in his work "A Brief History The Auto Industry", said, "The first oil crisis in 1973 shook us. The second in 1978 scared us, scared us so bad that car buyers were willing to ignore the diesel's noise, fumes, smell and iffy cold-weather starting to get the benefit of its good fuel economy. (Most of these problems with the diesel have since been solved.)

"Sales of passenger cars powered by diesels grew rapidly, peaking in 1981 at 520,788. Some 60 percent of those diesel cars were built by General Motors. That was 10 percent of GM sales that year. For other makers, diesels were a bigger factor. They accounted for almost 85 percent of Peugeot sales in the United States, 78 percent of Mercedes-Benz sales, 58 percent of Isuzu sales and almost half of Volkswagen sales. Diesel passenger cars were also sold by Audi, Volvo and Datsun in 1981.

"Then there were problems with GM's diesels. Blocks cracked and crankshafts wore prematurely. Critics complained that it was just a converted gasoline engine and clubs of disgruntled owners sprang up and lawsuits were filed. Tougher emission standards caused problems for all diesel makers. Hammering the final nail in the diesel's coffin, the price of gasoline began to decline. So did diesel sales. GM, which had been so bullish on diesels, ended production in 1985. Gasoline prices fell to the lowest levels ever, in terms of real dollars. The government's cheap gasoline policies have kept the price low, except for occasional spikes to remind us how vulnerable we are."

And perhaps due to this, many people have instead considered purchasing vehicles that were capable of running on the least expensive fuels, among which is diesel. However, statistics have really shown that despite diesel vehicles being one of the most cost efficient ones in the market, many have started choosing those units that were powered by really expensive fuels. This can be quite a sad situation given that people could have used their funds on other things like purchasing some to replace the worn out parts or rather purchasing some items for the household.

Aside from these, there are also some myths going on that diesel vehicles are quite few in the market. But if you would go ahead and do some research yourself, you would discover that diesel vehicles are aplenty. In fact, for the years 1960 up until 2002, there is quite a huge range of those units that run on diesel fuel.

As per what kind of future would these diesel vehicles have, that would still be the question. The sales have gone slow for the last decade or so. However, current trends do say that the graph is spiking once again. Who knows? The glory days of diesel vehicles might still come back.

Mileage and Fuel
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