GM Vice Chairman Tom Stephens delivered the information to the attendee's of this week's Directions in Engine-Efficiency and Emissions Research (DEER) conference in Detroit. According to Stephens, future GM diesels might be based on existing diesel powertrains manufactured by GM in other countries (i.e. under the Europe-based Opel brand). No other details have been revealed.
So why would GM go back to manufacturing diesel cars in the U.S. after a two-decade hiatus? Automakers like Volkswagen and Mercedes have proven that there is a fairly strong market for clean-burning diesel vehicles in the U.S. (20% of all Jettas sold are diesel-powered). And Tim Ellis, VW of America's Vice President of Marketing, recently explained to FastCompany that diesel is an interim technology between gasoline and electric vehicles. Many green-minded consumers might not be ready to shell out for the GM's extended-range hybrid Volt—the technology is too unfamiliar—but they might spring for a car that can run on cheap biofuels. That is, at least, what GM hopes.