TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Chevrolet will go after Volkswagen’s diesel customers.
“There are a lot of diesel intenders and diesel-loyal people who are looking for a brand and vehicles to go after,” said Dan Nicholson, General Motors’ vice president for global propulsion systems.
“They tend to be more tech savvy than the average customer. And they won’t stop wishing for a diesel. And we’ll go after those customers,” he said on the sidelines of the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars here.
Chevrolet, Nicholson said, will follow through with its plan to launch a new diesel engine in the Chevrolet Cruze. The car is expected to arrive in 2017 and feature a 1.6-liter diesel that is so quiet engineers call it “whisper diesel.”
Nicholson said he believes the U.S. market for diesel-powered cars and light trucks is still viable, despite Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal. “I think the U.S. is one of the few diesel growth markets on the planet,” he said.
“I am very optimistic about the diesel market in the U.S. It has been abandoned by others and we are happy to step in and be the leader. Frankly that’s what we’d like to do,” he said.
GM, Nicholson said, is seeing strong demand for the diesel-powered Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups. “We’re selling every one we can make and our sales targets are on track,” he said.