DaimlerChrysler Brands Join Diesel Revolution


2006 Jeep Commander
2006 Jeep Commander

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Sunshine Aston Martin 
Southport QLD

    13th March, 2006

    DaimlerChrysler will launch up to seven diesel-powered passenger cars into the Australian market in the next 12 months, as it follows the successful endeavours of numerous other manufacturers (such as Audi, Land Rover, Peugeot and Volkswagen).

    At the same time the company will launch two all-new diesel-powered sport utility vehicles.

    Sighting the growing customer interest in diesels, the DaimlerChrysler brands of Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge will launch the new diesel models.

With new diesel technology offering many advantages, customers are flocking to diesel-powered cars in record numbers. Official industry figures show that year-to-date sales of diesel passenger cars are up an impressive 116 per cent over 2005, with 1,517 sales up until February, compared with 703 at the same time last year.

CEO of DaimlerChrysler Australia/Pacific, Ernst Lieb, believes these advantages are driving the shift in consumer preference.

“It is not just their fuel consumption and new environmental credentials that make diesel-powered cars a practical choice,” said Lieb. “In terms of performance and comfort, diesel engines are today the equal of the petrol powerplant."

“We are delighted to offer leading edge diesel technology in so many different segments, particularly given the increasing popularity of diesel vehicles."

“Having introduced the world’s first diesel passenger car seven decades ago and having sold diesel-powered vehicles in Australia since the 1950’s, DaimlerChrysler is well positioned to move forward with this shift in consumer demand,” said Lieb.

Mercedes-Benz will double the availability of diesel models in Australia in the next 12 months. The new Mercedes-Benz B 180 CDI, which arrives in Australia in May, will be the first of five new diesel models the brand will introduce. Once the current diesel offensive is complete Mercedes-Benz will offer diesel models in the B-Class, C-Class Saloon, E-Class Saloon, E-Class Estate, S-Class, M-Class, R-Class and GL-Class.

The Chrysler Group will launch at least an additional three diesel variants, and possibly four, in 2006. The Chrysler 300C sedan and 300C Touring wagon diesel models will be the brand’s first diesel products offered in Australia, arriving in the third quarter. Jeep will add another diesel to its line-up with the brand’s first seven-seater model, the Commander, which will debut mid year. And a diesel version of the Dodge Caliber, which will be launched in petrol form mid 2006, may also come to Australia by the end of the year.

DaimlerChrysler’s leadership in diesel technology was highlighted recently, when it was awarded one of the most renowned accolades in the German automotive industry, the ‘Yellow Angel’ award for ‘Innovation of the Year’, in recognition of the leading-edge BLUETEC technology which will allow the company to offer the world’s cleanest diesel in any vehicle category.

In Australia, DaimlerChrysler is further demonstrating its commitment to diesel technology through its heavy involvement in the forthcoming Greenfleet Technology Trial. The one day event to be held on 28th March in Melbourne, will promote low emission vehicles to the public with a range of hybrid, clean diesel and fuel efficient petrol vehicles, entered by the nine different manufacturers taking part.

Last year DaimlerChrysler delivered 1,831 diesel cars in Australia, consisting of 675 cars from the Mercedes Car Group and 1,156 cars from the Chrysler Group. These figures do not include sales from the wide range of Light and Heavy Commencial vehicle products that DaimlerChrysler offers.

DaimlerChrysler hopes to significantly grow its passenger car sales by the time this current diesel offensive is over.

DaimlerChrysler diesel product timing:
Mercedes-Benz R 320 CDI - May
Mercedes-Benz B 180 CDI - June
Mercedes-Benz GL 320 CDI – fourth quarter
Mercedes-Benz E 280 CDI Estate - fourth quarter
Mercedes-Benz S 320 CDI - late 2006 / early 2007
Jeep Commander 3.0-litre V6 CRD - mid year
Chrysler 300C sedan 3.0-litre V6 CRD - third quarter
Chrysler 300C Touring wagon 3.0-litre V6 CRD - third quarter
Dodge Caliber 2.0-litre CRD - fourth quarter (availability to be confirmed)

In the early 1950’s the Mercedes-Benz 170 D kicked off volume sales of diesel passenger cars in Australia. Since then thousands of Australians have purchased a Mercedes-Benz with a diesel engine. The brand currently offers four diesel passenger cars – the C 220 CDI, Viano 2.2 CDI, E 280 CDI Saloon and ML 320 CDI.

Jeep introduced its first diesel powered product in Australia in 2000 with the XJ Cherokee, and currently offers diesel products in the mid-sized Cherokee model and flagship Grand Cherokee.

2006 Mercedes-Benz E 280 CDI
2006 Mercedes-Benz E 280 CDI

Other Chrysler news: here.

Other Dodge news: here.

Other Jeep news: here.

Other Mercedes-Benz news: here.

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