Market Snapshot


If you're skeptical about the possibility that we will see large quantities of diesel-powered light vehicles in the United States, here's some information you should be aware of.

A number of vehicle manufacturers are gearing up and jumping through the regulatory hoops to sell diesel-powered light vehicles in the United States. Mercedes-Benz, for example, is rolling out BlueTEC diesel vehicles in October. These include the ML320, R320 and GL320 in BlueTEC derivatives. In preparation for those introductions, the vehicles have been certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"Diesel passenger vehicles are one important piece of the future technology puzzle," Margo Oge, Director of EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, told the Detroit News. "Clean diesel is a viable, efficient technology to help improve our air quality and energy security."

As a result, the Internal Revenue Service has qualified a number of BlueTEC-powered vehicles for tax credits under the Qualified Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit. In some cases, those tax credits are worth as much as $1,800. 

Another example is Volkswagen, which recently announced that several of their vehicles had been certified under the Advanced Lean Burn Technology Motor Vehicle income-tax credit program.

With incentives such as these tax credits, consumers may be more inclined to purchase diesel-powered vehicles. In fact, studies by UBS Investment Research have forecast that diesels will outsell hybrids within the next four years. Their estimates project that by 2012, diesel sales will reach 1.5 million units per year compared to 1.2 million hybrids.