If the Phoenix Suns are looking for a potential partnership that will offset their costs to acquire Shaquille O'Neal, the team should look no further than the hot topic stiring conversation in the auto industry. Leading automakers (Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, and Kia) have identified North America as a key market to introduce a new generation of diesel-powered passenger cars. These automobiles, deemed "clean diesels", will boast good fuel efficiency (up to 35% better mileage) and potentially could overtake hybrids in the market for eco-cars.
Currently, diesels account for just 6% of sales of light-duty vehicles in the United States but it is predicted that by 2015, the market share for these diesel autos should hit 15%. In contrast, hybrids are slated to account for 6% market share in 2015. Volkswagen is leading the way, introducing a diesel Jetta in all 50 states this year (these light-duty vehicles have emission levels that pass tests in all 50 U.S. states). Honda is following Volkswagen's lead with a six-cylinder diesel Acura.
By now you are probably thinking that these autos will never catch on in the United States with rising gas prices. But while diesel prices at the pump are running about 12% more than gasoline, their per-mile fuel costs are 15-20% lower than gas-powered autos.
For properties selling/looking to sell the automobile category, beware of this new trend!