Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Sales Not Off to a Good Start

Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel 1 photo
Photo: Chevrolet
Sales for light-duty diesel cars and SUVs have risen 25 percent this year proving that customers are willing to buy the latest clean diesel technology, but Chevrolet seems to be having a hard time figuring this market out. A year after being introduced, the Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel has only managed 5,974 sales.
According to WardsAuto, that’s just 2 percent of the Cruze sales through that time period, and it’s far lower than the 10 percent mix that the article claims Chevy had originally hoped for. Despite what would seem like disappointing figures, a Chevrolet spokesperson was quoted saying that the Cruze Diesel is meeting the company’s sales expectations and is posting consistent numbers month-to-month.

Two of the possible reasons for the low sales figures are limited supply and an established rival. Chevy limited initial supply of the Cruze Diesel so it could gauge customer demand in order to prevent overbuilding units. Also, the Cruze Diesel competes squarely against the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, which is far more established on the market.

In the same time frame that the Cruze Diesel sold fewer than 6,000 units, VW sold 46,409 of its Jetta TDI models accounting for more than a quarter of all Jetta sales. With a starting price of $24,985, the 2014 Cruze Diesel has a price premium of around $2,000 compared to a comparably equipped gas-engine Cruze, but it’s significantly more than the 2014 Jetta TDI starting at $21,295. The Cruze Diesel does have a slight highway fuel economy advantage over the Jetta TDI with EPA estimates of 27 mpg city and 46 mpg highway versus 30 mpg city and 42 mpg highway

If you’re a fan of diesel cars, though, the good news is that Chevy doesn’t appear to be giving up on the diesel engine anytime soon. Next year, Chevy will offer a diesel engine on the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado, and it sounds like the automaker plans to offer a clean diesel engine in the next-gen Cruze, which will be introduced next year.
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