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What Would It Take for YOU to buy a diesel car?



  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    A quick Google search on the 300D produces the following:

    "The W123 models surpassed their predecessor, the W114 and W115 models, as the most successful Mercedes, selling 6.7 million cars before replacement by the W124 after 1985"

    I'm not sure I have the time or patience to find exact sales in 1983 by each model, but I think it's safe to say that if the 5 cylinder 300D was the most successful Mercedes of its time with (and perhaps ever) then it sold more than the 380 series 8 cylinder gas models in 1983. Add in the 240D sales, and I think the 60% diesel percentage in 1983 that my friend estimated is a heck of a lot closer to reality than the 5% number you pulled out of ......wherever.

    BTW, in addition to all of the diesel models there were a few gas engine models in the W123 series, but NONE of which were sold in the US in 1983.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,931
    edited December 2012
    Technology changes. Something amazing 25 years ago is expected and of little added value today. Look at your TV/stereo/computer etc. It works the same way with automotive amenities.

    Probably true an equivalent 240D today couldn't be sold for 23K, or even for the price of a C-class - as although the car lacks toys, it was built to an insane standard and was a real tank. It's more about how the car compares to the rest of the industry. The cars have huge survival rates. Early 80s MBs were much more different from other cars than new MBs are today.

    Highline brands working down = increased profits. You know how this works. You can sell 10 units with a $250/unit profit, or 100 units with a $50/unit profit. The highlines are making money hand over fist with the latter strategy, and it doesn't seem to have tarnished image any,

    "knows their place in society"? Seriously? Things like that make me hope and pray we finally get capital punishment for financial crimes, including treachery. It also seems like we have a societal contingent who want a guaranteed ROI on gold they often didn't really "build" (even if they chant otherwise), and want to make theirs aided by an expensive system they will then flee when the maintenance comes due. And after they've climbed that ladder that doesn't exist anymore, they will sneer and look down on those who come later who can't climb that now toppled ladder. I might be exaggerating a tiny bit, but maybe not :shades: :sick:
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    edited December 2012
    Now I would agree. Even as I wax nostalgic for the late 80's MB 300 TD, it is from the perspective of early and late introduction of diesels. While I know I can find a few, probably they would require a lot ($$$$) to get back to any condition, let alone a spot on restoration.

    On the social commentary, ah... perhaps another discussion. ;) From what you are implying or from what one would surmise from what you ARE implying: perhaps the 2003 (Jetta) TDI's are great US market available examples. ;) If one wanted to get more up to day, perhaps the US assembled2012/2013 VW Passat TDI.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,931
    Restoration of an old diesel (or any old MB sedan) is a good way to burn money - only do it if you like the car. All but the turbos are slow, too - the 240D is really too slow for anyone who lives in an area with any population density. But, a maintained one will last and last. Always buy the best old car you can afford, the cheapest MB usually ends up being the most expensive.

    Those older Jettas do seem to have higher mpg claims than later models. For the other commentary, I was only replying in kind :shades:
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    edited December 2012
    Indeed. The old car markets are both a little arcane, and (to me) unfathomable: (TMI for too little reward), even as I watch the car interest cable tv shows, one example "Chasing Classic Cars". (Again to me) It is a corollary on the theme/joke, How to make a small fortune IN ... (cars). Start off with a LARGE fortune. :surprise:

    It is amazing that the @ 10 my's ( 2003 Jetta TDI and 180,000 miles) era is rapidly approaching "THE GOOD OLD DAYS" !!!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,931
    edited December 2012
    There is money to be made in old cars, but as with most of the economy, it takes money to make money. Most of the old car money will be in six figures and above material. Chasing Classic Cars is a good example of this. Wayne knows the business, and you don't see many <50K cars featured. For most old cars, esp something like a MB sedan, you'll be lucky to get 40% or so back if you restore and sell. Luckily, patina and originality have become more desired than restored perfection. An immaculate unrestored W123 would be more lauded than a restored one.

    I have a car roughly the age of that Jetta, that has 54K miles on it. Not a diesel though, it has probably burned about the same amount of fuel over its life :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited December 2012
    I don't know if the author is careless, or is intending to be dramatic by deception?

    Dan Neil = both. :D

    WSJ is for New Yorkers who don't even drive. Those who don't take cabs or the subway are chauffer-driven.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Now, now. Dan might have been careless or failed applied math as I suggested, but the WSJ audience goes beyond chauffeured investment bankers living in Manhattan high rises. It includes a few of us who passed on the New York Times and Washington Post promotion: "free subscription when you join the Socialist Party". Silly me, I pay for the Washington Post. ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    He was on "The Car Show" and was probably the guy I agreed with least often.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    edited December 2012
    Not to rain on your Subaru and diesel cheerleading, BUT the good news, ... Fortune (Dec 3, 2012 pg 142) article : "They Say Subaru Is The Best Car Money Can Buy" doesn't say "A WORD" about Subaru diesels (the bad news). :lemon: ;) AN accountant IS the CEO ( so the accountants are figuratively AND literally) in charge of this tee ni tiny car oem. ;) :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, I had read that. Here's a link for those who haven't:

    With AWD on every car as a handicap to CAFE numbers, it's hard to believe they won't soon bring one here.

    Their current sold-in-Europe diesel does not meet CARB emissions standards, though. They would need to add urea injection.

    They just passed 300k sales for the first time in history on December 1. Another record year.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587 drive-review/

    We were admittedly concerned that clatter from the TDI might be off-putting in a model with no roof, but the engine is so well behaved that passengers probably won't even notice that your ride gets fuel from those other pumps
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    edited December 2012
    This is just my personal reaction, but the 2003 generation (Mk IV) didn't have that issue. Neither did the previous generation (MK III). Really all it is is going down from the old 25 to one compression ratio, ala old MB diesels (late 80s) "marbles in a can". It is kind of like worrying about whether unleaded regular cars would smell like leaded regular ???
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They're certainly acceptable nowadays, but you can still hear it. Most cars are well insulated enough that it won't matter, but the concern here was the convertible.

    Having said that, the 328i I drove with the 2l turbo had a DI clatter that was no better.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    edited December 2012
    I dont know where you live - but here in Vermont, Subaru is the unofficial state car. About every 3rd car on the road is a Subie.

    I can tell you that I have owned many vehicles over the last 40 years or so and my Subaru Baja turbo is absolutely the very best vehicle I have ever owned. Heck, even the spare-tire is mounted on stainless-steel hardware. I know many people with Subies with over 200K miles (this INCLUDES many Vermont winters and salt-covered roads which make lesser vehicles rust into oblivion.)

    Dont get me wrong... my wife's 2003 Jetta TDI is still our choice for long-distance travel.

    Oh - I can say the manual xmission on the VW is MUCH better than the Subie... but we all know that VW manual xmissions are world-class.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    Sales mix for Audi TDI clean diesel models finish the month at 45.3% for the A3 TDI and 28.8% for Q7 TDI
    A3 sales up 14.9% over last year.
    Sales of Audi Q7 increased 91.9% compared to November 2011; YTD sales up 17.8% compared to previous period.

    All I could find on Mercedes is this blurb:
    "As the post-storm rebuilding gets underway, we're seeing a strong sales pace for the industry at large which will carry MBUSA to its highest year on record," said Steve Cannon, U.S. CEO, in a statement.
    Diesel model sales for the year are up 7.9% to 13,738.

    10:36AM EST December 3. 2012 - Volkswagen says it sold 36,728 vehicles in November, 29.3% more than in November a year ago and its best November since 1973.

    Sales of its Passat mid-size sales and Tiguan SUV were best ever for November.

    Jetta compact sedan, once the shooting star, was down 3.4%.

    Diesels were in 19.6% of all vehicles sold. Passat diesels were 24% of all Passat sales. VW says it could provide diesels for about 30% of Passats.

    No news on BMW diesels. Though it looks like they may offer more soon.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    One thing to remember about diesels is that the pricing for a car in the U.K. is almost exactly the same as in the U.S. if you ignore the currency. Ie - A 20 thousand Dollar car in the U.S. typically costs 20 thousand Pounds.

    We don't need tiny cars, even. Just give us the CDI/TDI/etc versions of the same car we have over here.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    For some reason neither diesel specific sites nor the oems that make diesel sales are transparent about current statistics about diesels. So in the case of the VW Touareg 2012 sales are app 21.4%+ UP YTD (Nov) of 9145 over 2011, (7535)

    VW Touareg 2012 ytd sales

    I had read that Touareg 2011 diesel sales were 23%. While I could swag the same, %, right now its a real unknown.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    edited December 2012
    Police Car BMW TT 3.0 D engine ?

    240,000 twin turbo diesel 3.0 L, I- 6 ?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    For comparison sake, Toyota hybrids were up 29%.

    You wonder if diesels would have sold more had they had better supply.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    edited December 2012
    Diluted gas ( up to E15) and hybrids are/have been the policies. I say good for the Toyota hybrid ! However what does that have to do with the topic, diesel sales?

    The policy is/has been alternative fuels and "oh by the way" they HATE alternative fuels (diesels being one @ 5% of the pvp). For as much as they cheerlead/policy wonk for hybrids and plug in electric, the pvp's are pretty limited.

    Now and then, E85 requires massive reengineering and costs as the alternative fuel ethanol is damaging to 90/95% of the NEW cars designed for RUG/PUG. Incidently, E85 products posts app 25% less fuel mileage than either RUG/PUG. Diesel on the other hand exceeds RUG/PUG products and can easily match to exceed gasser/hybrid products. But we know that.

    VW Touareg has an example of each: 1. PUG/ hybrid EPA H 24 2. RUG EPA 23 3. TDI EPA 28.

    I really do not wonder at all. I think the reference to 30% diesel capacity for VW Passat total capacity with a diesel % below, but close to it (30%) says they planned pretty well.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Offered up for comparison, since it means overall demand for fuel efficient vehicles easily outstrips the market at large.

    It's very relevant.

    Any how...

    Ethanol blends can work in warmer climates (Brazil for instance) but here I think it's largely political. Then we end up with expensive corn, which hurts almost every one. :sick:

    And there's got to be subsidies in E10/E20 gas because 87 is at $3.55 while diesel is $4.31 at the Shell near Montgomery Mall. You have got to be kidding me.

    There's no freaking way diesel costs that much more to refine, it's ridiculous.

    I realize heating oil demand drives up diesel prices, but how much subsidy goes in that ethanol? It's like the fed is giving the ethanol for free to water down (literally, less BTUs) gasoline and help special interests.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    edited December 2012
    I would agree that most efforts come across as political, even as most has deep economic motivations. You have heard me say it before, and verified time, after time, after time and year after year after year after year: but fuel efficiency is actually designed to RAISE fuel prices and RAISE price per mile driven (fuel and taxation) while giving the illusion it is LESS and of course giving lip service to environmental concerns.

    Let me just cut to the chase. TDI's with 75 mpg and $1.85 per gal are NOT here!

    Even during that "greedy oil man" as POTUS: BUSH. diesel fuel was $1.85 . That is after 8 years.

    FF to the oil industry "HATER" POTUS BO. diesel is @ 4 per gal+ !! ;) That is of course after 4 years. What do you guess it will be after ANOTHER 4 years?

    I don't think there is any real secret why they don't want to teach math skills in K thru 12 :sick:
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    Looks like they have significant orders. Good for this startup and good for Indiana. They are refurbishing a mothballed factory. I guess Connersville was called little Detroit at one time. It is far enough away from the crime centers in the Northern part of the state. And I would say RTW was a factor in picking Indiana. Looks like a great made in America product.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't remember diesel being nearly that cheap, at least around here ... then again I wasn't buying any so I'm not sure.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Timely article: /

    FWIW my mileage dropped when MD shifted to E10 blend year-round. It used to be a seasonal blend, mostly used in winter.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,931
    Speaking of political :P

    I don't recall diesel here being anywhere near that, either. In my area it usually paces premium, which I have been putting in my cars for eons. Mot expensive fuel I bought was late summer 08...
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    edited December 2012
    The points are easily made (without what I said or paid?)for the prices of whatever fuels you all bought at those two stated times and places. Really, you guys are NOT saying you didn't buy fuel at those times or can't run what the percentage differences are? Or @ least I HOPE you are not saying that? ;) If you keep a maint /fuel log book.....

    Me? I like the 1.85 per gal /50 mpg=.037 cents per mile driven fuel. As much as I like that, 75 mpg would be .... better? .0247 cents per mile driven fuel. Specifically 33.3% BETTER?

    Be that as it may, $4.00/50 mpg is .08 cents per mile driven, aka 116.2% MORE/4= 29% per year more!?

    link title A reality check. 119 days ago gasoline in Saudi Arabia was .91 cents USD. Now that would be nice @ 50 mpg that is .0182 cents per mile driven. ;) :shades:
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,931
    I am saying I don't recall diesel selling for that much here. Maybe in some localized price war or short term price bottom. When was diesel 1.85? I think gasbuddy keeps historical charts.

    And to think, part of that Saudi Arabia price is enabled by the (relative) regional stability funded by the American taxpayer.
  • Just announced this past week at the LA auto show. Over 300 foot pounds of torque and possibly 50 miles per gallon on the road. That will get a look from me.
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