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Diesel tech now ‘out of bounds’ to manufacturers

James Dillon

Author and car industry expert James Dillon has claimed that diesel technology is now “out of bounds” to manufacturers as downward pressures on consumer demand for diesel cars reach a critical level.

Writing in the IMI Magazine this month, Dillon said that growing concerns over dangerous air pollution and the emergence of other manufacturers being scrutinised for attempting to cheat diesel emissions tests following the VW scandal were both high on the list of issues affecting the reputation of diesel.

But Dillon claimed that this is just the tip of the iceberg looming on diesel’s horizon, with the spiralling costs to manufacturers of meeting the increasingly demanding emissions the sharpest nail in diesel’s coffin.

“From a technological perspective, diesel emission control technology is out-of-bounds of the cost/benefit envelope,” he said.

Dillon also predicts that Government proposals like the 2017 VED changes, the potential for a more stringent emissions test on the MOT, and the hint of a scrappage scheme, will all hit demand for diesel. 

He expects diesel will be replaced by the wholesale uptake of hybrid and electric cars in the future.

Addressing the IMI’s members, Dillon said: “Aftermarket garages should prepare for the potential shift in automotive power sources. Upskilling to be able to service and repair hybrids and EVs should be on every repairer’s medium term plan. Technical training, business processes, tools and equipment all warrant investigation.

“As a result of the technology merry-go-round, we’ll see garages who once said ‘we don’t do engine management’, and then said ‘we don’t do diesels’ who are now saying ‘we don’t do hybrids’ change in order to adapt to the times and technology and to remain in business.”

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  • STEVE HANSEN - 14/02/2017 15:14

    In contrast to this writer's analysis, I'd like to offer insight into recent developments that indicate diesels have a very bright future in the U.S. 1) This week Chevrolet announced that the new 2017 Cruze Diesel Sedan has achieved a U.S. EPA-estimated 52 mpg highway rating - the highest highway fuel economy rating of any non-hybrid/non-EV in America. This will included an additional version of the highly-anticipated diesel Cruze hatchback. 2) Ford intends to offer a new 3.0L diesel option in its Ford F-150, the best-selling pickup truck in the U.S. for the past 40 years. For Ford to believe the addition of a diesel-version of their classic F-150 will be popular here is a testament to diesel's prospects. 3) In addition, diesels are moving forward in the SUV sector. GMC has announced a new 1.6L turbo-diesel engine option for its all-new 2018 GMC Terrain SUV, Mazda will be introducing a 2017 CX-5 SKYACTIV-D SUV diesel later this year, and Chevy will also offer a diesel option for the Chevrolet Equinox. SUVs and light trucks largely carried the U.S. passenger vehicle market in 2016 with more than 60 percent of the market. With new diesel SUV and light trucks coming to the U.S. along with the fuel-efficient Chevy Cruze Diesel Sedan in the smaller vehicle sector, there will be great choices for consumers in all key segments. In contrast to this writer's assumption, the future is very promising for diesel passenger vehicles in the U.S. Steve Hansen, Diesel Technology Forum