Mercedes-Benz global diesel sales are growing again, suggesting the fuel type is far from dead, CEO Ola Källenius has revealed.
Speaking at the Frankfurt motor show, Källenius revealed that he believed common sense would ultimately preserve the fuel's future. He pointed to data to show that the latest upgrades had made it a cleaner choice for many buyers even in terms of NOx emissions.
"The good thing about facts is that they are facts," he said. "The truth is that in most situations, diesels enjoy an economy benefit of 15-20% and in a lot of circumstances also lower NOx emissions than they are certified at. There is no rational reason today not to buy one if your driving profile suits its best use.
"At Mercedes, we only experienced a relatively small decline in sales, but over the past months we have seen that mix creeping up again. At the point of sale the public are typically very rational and so, if diesel meets their needs, they will buy it. If it doesn't, we must ensure we have alternatives.
"But on the future of diesel I'm cautiously optimistic."
Mercedes also unveiled a new diesel-electric version of its GLE flagship SUV at the Frankfurt motor show. It joins the smaller E300de and C300de in Mercedes' range of hybrids, as the maker aims to prolong the viability of its diesel-powered product offering.