There's At Least One Automaker CEO Who Thinks Diesels Are Doomed

Industry News

"The markets have turned against diesel and almost killed it."

At the moment, there are still some mainstream automakers building diesel-powered vehicles. How much longer will this engine technology last, given that whole Dieselgate thing? Hard to say, but what’s clear is that some automakers, notably Volkswagen (ironic?) are ditching diesel in favor plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles. While other automakers decide their futures on this subject, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has openly admitted the future of diesels looks bleak.

Autocar has an interesting report which quotes Marchionne’s pessimism regarding oil burners. “The disengagement is happening. Since Dieselgate, the share of diesel sales has reduced month by month,” said Marchionne. “There’s no point denying that, and it's clear that the cost of making diesel reach the new standards is going to become prohibitive.” Coincidentally, FCA is working with the US government on a settlement regarding a dirty diesel issue of its own. Before Marchionne retires in the very near future, he has the challenge of guiding the company he literally helped create through a merger to a cleaner and, of course, profitable future.

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This coming June 1, FCA will unveil its next five-year plan to investors, and it will include the end of diesels for the Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Jeep and Maserati brands by 2022. “We have to lessen our reliance on diesel substantially," he added. "Whatever the arguments on each side, the markets have turned against diesel and almost killed it. I'm not sure we have the strength as the FCA Group or as an industry to turn it around.” Hey, at least he’s being fully honest. And yes, it’ll be a shame we the upcoming Jeep Wrangler diesel won’t be around for long.

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