Testing is currently under way on a Chrysler 300 powered by a three-liter, direct-injection diesel engine for potential introduction to the U.S. The key word here is testing, because there are no specific plans to bring it into this country. After earlier diesels using much older technology failed in this market, there seems to be a mindset within the auto industry that diesels will not sell in the U.S. no matter how good they are. I think they are being terribly short sighted.
This car seats 5, holds 18.7 gallons of ultra low sulfur diesel and is equipped with an engine that delivers 215 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 376 foot-pounds of torque at 2,800 rpm. There’s a five speed automatic, electronic stability control, traction control and anti lock brakes. On top of all that, it has the good looks of the Chrysler 300 and getting 41 mpg it sips fuel like an economy car. Who can seriously believe this will not sell?
Consumers are not the uninformed buyers some auto execs still seem to believe. Ask any auto salesperson today about buyers coming into the showrooms with spec sheets and comparisons printed from the Internet with invoice pricing, holdbacks and everything else already factored into their offer. Today’s buyer knows all about new technology, sometimes before the sales force hears about it. Introduce a clean diesel sedan like this Chrysler 300 that gets 41 mpg on the highway while retaining the size and comfort of a standard gasoline version and you’ll have buyers ready to drive one off the lot. This car needs to be in the U.S. along with many more like it. Chrysler, don’t drop the ball on this one, it will sell.