Bosch boss foresees 10 percent diesel sales in U.S. by 2015
Speaking at an Automotive Press Association event in Detroit, Peter Marks, chairman, president and CEO for Bosch's North and South American operations, predicted a major increase in the number of clean-diesel vehicles sold in America by mid-decade. While acknowledging the increasing importance of mild-hybrid, full-hybrid and even hydraulic-hybrid powertrains, Marks believes the combination of rising fuel prices and the inherent superior fuel efficiency of modern diesel engines will help their market penetration jump from its current three percent to as much as 10 percent of the passenger fleet in this country by 2015. He also anticipates that manufacturers will literally double the number of diesel-powered models they offer here, from 20 to 40, during that same period.
"Clean diesel allows drivers to have improved fuel economy and reduced emissions, while still having a car with power and performance," Marks said. He's confident that diesel-powered cars could average 54 mpg or more, and that despite the $1,200-$2,800 price premium oil burners still command, the average owner could recoup that extra hit in as little as 14 months. Marks, who has been on the Board of Management of Robert Bosch GmbH since 2002, also points out that beyond their roughly 30-percent improved fuel economy and 25-percent lower greenhouse gas emissions, clean diesels enjoy about 20 percent higher residual values than hybrids.
One of the largest suppliers of automotive components and technologies of all types, the Bosch Group currently employs some 285,000 people worldwide and generated $63 billion in global sales last year, with $8.8 billion of that total coming from its operations here in the U.S.