Anticipating a growing U.S. market for diesel cars, Chevrolet is planning to launch the Cruze diesel at its dealers in May.
Fuel economy is expected to rival the Eco version of the gas-powered Cruze in excess of 40 mpg.
The Cruze diesel has already been in existence in Europe and GM has said it collaborated with its engineers in Germany to refine the product for the requirements of the North American market.
On Monday at the Detroit auto show, GM’s Marketing Director Cristi Landi echoed previous acknowledgement of the market-share leader for diesel cars in the U.S., Volkswagen.
“If you were to buy a non-luxury diesel now, really your only choice is the Volkswagen,” said Landy.
Landy said GM does not expect some buyers to even have a diesel compact car on their shopping radar, but does expect to win sales.
In turn, GM has VW on its radar, and intends to take conquest sales with the Cruze diesel which it says will be a fully competitive choice.
The Cruze is now Chevrolet’s top-selling car globally, with over 1.7 million sold since 2009.
Last year in the U.S., Chevrolet sold 237,758 Cruze models which was up 2.6 percent from 2011 during which 231,732 Cruze models were sold.
To date, diesels represent 0.8 percent of the North American market. The top selling diesel in the U.S. during 2012 was the Jetta Diesel, which saw 48,099 units sold.
The market is expected to expand with increased concerns for fuel economy and more competition in coming years.