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By Ben Geier
The word “diesel” probably elicits one of three reactions from most Americans: A disgusted comment about black smoke, a curious glance that says they don’t know what diesel is, or a story about the time they accidentally put diesel in their engine and worried they’d ruined their car.
All that could be changing, though. Steve Kiefer, the General Motors’ vice president who oversees engine production, said in a speech Tuesday that he thinks 10% of the U.S. market could be made up of diesel cars by 2020, echoing past statements from GM executives.
As of right now, only one GM car, the Chevrolet Cruze, is available in the U.S. with a diesel engine. Some heavy-duty pickups are also available with diesel as an option. Several more could be coming in 2016, according to a report onAutomotive News. The Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Canyon will be available with diesel engines in 2016.
The Chevrolet Cruze diesel will be the first of many diesel-powered passenger cars General Motors will offer in the United States, Kiefer said in his speech.
Lauren Fix, an automotive columnist who goes by the title “The Car Coach,” said she agrees, and that diesel’s image is changing stateside.
“Diesel today is about performance,” she said. “Its a great alternative to a hybrid, because what you lose with a hybrid is towing capacity.”
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