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USA: Diesel Vehicle Forecasts Are Strong.

No Significant Consumer Segments for E-Mobilty

While auto sales forecasts support a bright future and consumer views of diesel fuel are improving, consumers ultimately will be the group deciding the fate of the diesel market – and their focus will be on economics more than any other issue.

A new consumer study released by the Fuels Instituts „Consumers and Diesel: Potential Conflicts Between Fuel Economy and Cost“, examined consumer preferences toward diesel fuel and found that while all consumers seek economics benefits, different consumer segments value different economic factors, and that these different needs all must be addressed in communicating diesel fuel’s cost benefits.

While gasoline expected to lose market share over the coming decade in the United States, diesel fuel is poised to be the fuel most likely to experience growth. Consumer education from auto manufacturers may have already played a role in changing perceptions. Today more than 4 in 10 new car buyers say that they would consider purchasing a diesel vehicle, a considerable increase from 31 percent who said so just a year ago according to the study, conducted by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates LLC.

Central to diesel fuel’s success will be attracting female customers, who make 73 percent of all car buying decisions in the USA. In this respect, there has been considerable progress: in percentage of female consumers who said that they were likely to consider purchasing a diesel vehicle rose from 26 to 32 percent over the past year.

However, different perspectives on fuel economy and fuel prices will need to be addressed if the market is to grow to its potential, the survey found. Of all consumers who are likely to consider purchasing a diesel vehicle, fuel economy was cited as the top factor. Diesel vehicles are known to deliver 20 percent to 40 percent more miles per gallon than their gasoline equivalents, and consumer seem to recognize this benefit.

The Fuels Institute, founded by NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) is a non-profit research-oriented think tank dedicated to evaluating market issues related to vehicles and the fuels that power them (www.fuelsinstitute.org)