Don't count Nissan among automakers looking to crank up some new diesels anytime soon. Instead, the company will continue to push for plug-ins.
Nissan is expecting annual U.S. sales of its battery-electric Leaf to jump sixfold between 2011 and 2013 but is downplaying the possibility of selling a diesel-powered vehicle, Car and Driver said, citing company executives.
The Japanese automaker, which sold just under 9,700 Leafs last year, may more than double sales to 22,000 units this year and may surpass the 60,000-vehicle mark in 2013, according to Al Castignetti, a Nissan vice president and general manager. Nissan also said it was looking into plug-in hybrid-electric powertrains, but no specifics about timeframe or model were given.
As for diesels, Nissan once said (in 2007) that it would start selling a diesel-powered Maxima in 2010, but it is no longe likely to pursue that type of powertrain because of government restrictions and cost concerns, Pierre Loing, Nissan vice president for product strategy and planning told Car and Driver.
German automakers such as Volkswagen, Audi and Mercedes-Benz have relaunched diesel sales in the U.S. in recent years after decades of improving their performance in Europe. Meanwhile, General Motors said last year that it will introduce a diesel-powered Chevrolet Cruze to the U.S. next year. So far, Americans seem to be enjoying the option.