Bad news for diesel detractors who thought the Jeep Liberty diesel would go up in smoke in the marketplace:
The Jeep Liberty CRD (common rail diesel) seems to have passed its U.S. marketing test. Chrysler says it sold 10,313 diesel-powered Libertys in the vehicle's first full year on the market - roughly double its target figure.
Overall, Chrysler sold 176,313 Jeep Libertys since the diesel became an option in March 2005. So diesels have accounted for about 0.6 percent of the mix.
Chrysler spokesman Jason Vines said the company felt the Liberty CRD would sell well despite diesel's image problem in the United States. In the late 1970s, General Motors rushed diesels into production with disastrous results that still resonate in the marketplace.
"There's a whole generation of adults who think diesels are noisy, smelly and crappy, and they have influenced their children's buying habits," said Vines.
So why is the Liberty diesel selling? Vines says high fuel prices have made buyers hungry for fuel economy, and hybrids - which Chrysler doesn't sell - don't deliver the goods in many types of driving: "Hybrids aren't what they were promised to be."