Volkswagen of America just conducted the Clean Diesel IQ Survey to find out what’s going on inside the minds of consumers about diesel-powered passenger vehicles. This survey included groups of drivers using diesel engine vehicles, gasoline engine, and hybrid electric vehicles. Among the findings:
- A bit over 50% of gasoline and hybrid drivers understand that diesel vehicles are very fuel efficient these days.
- Gasoline and hybrid drivers tend to over-estimate the payback period where the diesel vehicle’s fuel efficiency offsets the higher cost of a diesel powertrain.
- The groups are split on the noisy/smelly issue – more than a third of gasoline and hybrid drivers still think diesel-engine vehicles are noisy and smell bad, versus less than 5% of diesel drivers.
- 94% of current diesel vehicle owners want to buy another diesel-powered car.
- The study finds that owners of gasoline-powered vehicles are more likely to go diesel than are hybrid owners.
- So, there are two channels for dealers marketing diesel-engine vehicles: carry the message to gasoline-powered vehicle car shoppers, and get customers to check out and drive a clean diesel vehicle. “We know that once a driver experiences a clean diesel vehicle, they become dedicated to the diesel powertrain,” said Volkswagen’s Douglas Skorupski.