Hybrids are still hot, but the outlook for diesel-powered cars and light trucks in the United States seems to be on the upswing. Here are three assessments we've noted in the past week.
1.AutoNation Inc. CEO Mike Jackson predicted that five years from now diesels will outsell hybrids by 2-1 in the United States.
2.Michiyoshi Hagino, Honda's senior managing director for purchasing policy and quality, told Japan's Nikkan Kogyo newspaper that diesel engines could power as much as 30 percent of Honda Motor Co.'s vehicles in the United States. He didn't say when.
3.Former Bosch CEO Hermann Scholl said diesels could account for 15 percent of new light-vehicle sales in the United States within 10 years. Diesels have accounted for about 3 percent so far this year, according to Power Information Network.
"In the U.S., the average yearly distance driven is almost double that of Europe," says Scholl, who now heads the foundation that controls the German supplier. "That's the reason why many people are not satisfied with the hybrid, because the hybrid shows its advantages in city traffic and not in the long distances typical for the U.S."