Daimler Abandons Plans for 2017 Mercedes-Benz Diesel Models in America
For months, speculation has gone back and forth about whether or not Mercedes-Benz will sell diesel models of its 2017 vehicles in the United States. Now we finally have an answer, and that answer is no.
Daimler has put a hold on the certification process for its diesel passenger cars, meaning no diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz vehicles this model year.
Eariler this week, Daimler AG, parent company of Mercedes, announced that it had dropped plans to seek U.S. approval to sell diesel vehicles for its current model year. Nevertheless, Daimler has not yet decided whether or not to exit the diesel market of America entirely from this point forward.
“We constantly review our portfolio offerings and make adjustments to meet immediate customer need,” Mercedes-Benz USA spokesman Rob Moran stated in an email. “Combined with the increased effort to certify diesel engines in the U.S., we have put the certification process for diesel passenger cars on hold.”
Prior to this announcement, Mercedes had been seeking approval to sell four separate diesel models for its 2017 lineup. Mercedes similarly released four models equipped with its BlueTEC diesel powertrain last year, including the 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Diesel.
Mercedes had plans to introduce a diesel option for its GLS-class SUV model this year. However, it would appear that plans for this vehicle have now been abandoned altogether.
Sales for diesel vehicles are on the decline in the United States, especially after Volkswagen’s diesel vehicle scandal. In September of 2015, Volkswagen admitted to installing software on 580,000 diesel vehicles that allowed them to emit 40 times the legally allowable emissions.
Daimler is currently under an investigation of its very own. The U.S. Justice Department, the EPA, and the California Air Resources Board are all investigating emissions produced by Mercedes diesel vehicles.
Of course, declining diesel sales could have also been a deciding factor for Mercedes to abandon diesel vehicles for 2017. According to Moran, sales of diesel vehicles accounted for less than 1% of the overall 2016 sales for Mercedes.
It is a possibility that diesel vehicles could return to the Mercedes-Benz lineup for the 2018 model year. However, if you are waiting for a new diesel model from Mercedes, then you probably shouldn’t hold your breath.
News Source: Reuters