To the Editor:
I DISAGREE with Keith Crain (February 10 issue) on the subject of diesels in America. Diesels are more suited to the American driving style than that of Europeans. Research has show that most Americans only rarely exceed 3,000 rpm, making them ideal diesel motorists. I suffered from the same bias until I drove a Ford Mondeo 2.0-liter in 2002 and realized just how good the performance is.
I would expect US diesel penetration of light trucks to reach 10 percent over the next few years. Diesel cars will go from the present few thousand per year to tens of thousands and on to hundreds of thousands before the end of the decade. As you know, 10 percent of the North American market is a huge number.
Once this critical mass is reached, it will be onwards and upwards for diesel share due to good word of mouth. The only thing stopping this scenario will be Californian legislators or, as you rightly point out, poor fuel distribution, a problem easily overcome.