Mercedes-Benz is Ditching Diesel in the U.S.

Except in the Sprinter.

A Mercedes-Banz ML-320 with a BlueTEC diesel engine sits on display following its debut during a media preview of the 2008 New York International Auto Show in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, March 19, 2008. The 2008 NYIAS is open to the public from March 21-30. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News
DANIEL ACKER/Bloomberg via Getty Images

While diesel is gaining further prominence in the U.S. in the form of more crossovers and half-ton pickups offering diesel engines, Mercedes-Benz is tapping out of the U.S. diesel game. According to an interview with Mercedes-Benz Car Group head of research and development Ola Kallenius with The Detroit Bureau, Mercedes will no longer offer diesel engines in the U.S. except for in the Sprinter van.

“The diesel doesn’t fit into our portfolio in the U.S.,” said Kallenius. That’s made clear in the fact that even in MB’s best year ever, only 3 percent of all U.S. sales were diesels. Mercedes even has a fancy new diesel engine made to meet strict new emissions standards that are coming to Europe in 2020. It will be available in the updated G-Class SUV, but not on our shores.

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Mercedes-Benz has been wishy-washy about diesel in the U.S. for about a year now. In January of 2017, Mercedes-Benz reaffirmed its commitment to building diesels in the wake of Volkswagen’s disastrous diesel scandal. Last May, however, Benz announced that it wouldn’t seek EPA diesel certification for 2017 model year cars. Since then, the future of Mercedes diesels in the U.S. was questionable, until now.

What we can expect from Mercedes-Benz and its parent company Daimler AG in the near future are even more crossovers and electrification. Crossovers and SUVs are what helped Mercedes become the largest luxury brand in the world for two years running and it’s going to continue betting on that horse. With a hybrid/electric revolution seemingly imminent in the next decade or so, Daimler is wisely investing in electric vehicles for the future.