Mercedes abandoned its attempt to have diesel-powered models approved for sale in the United States last year and it appears they won’t be making a return.
Last year, Mercedes-Benz USA spokesman Rob Moran told Automotive News “We constantly review our portfolio offerings and make adjustments to meet immediate customer need.” He went to say the increased scrutiny of diesel engines, in the wake of Volkswagen’s dieselgate scandal, pushed the company to decide to put the certification process on hold.
While there was hope the diesel engines would eventually return, Mercedes research and development boss Ola Källenius recently put that idea to rest. Speaking to The Detroit Bureau, Källenius said the company’s latest diesel engine has significantly reduced emissions but he believes there simply isn’t enough demand to justify bringing it to the United States.
As he explained, “The diesel doesn’t fit into our portfolio in the U.S.” as diesel-powered vehicles only accounted for about three percent of the company’s sales in their best year. In 2016, diesel sales were particularly low as they accounted for less than one percent of the company’s overall sales.
Given the low sales figures, it isn’t too surprising that Mercedes decided diesel engines weren’t worth the effort. For now, luxury customers who want a diesel engine will have to select between vehicles from BMW and Jaguar Land Rover.
If you simply cannot live without a diesel-powered Mercedes, you’re in luck as Källenius revealed the Sprinter will continue to be offered with a diesel engine. The van has remained relatively popular over the years thanks to the growth of e-commence and the need for vans to deliver products bought online.