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Volkswagen Struggling To Meet High Demand for Passat Diesel Powered Models

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2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI

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By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor
The Auto Channel

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, August 19, 2013; The Volkswagen plant in Tennessee is pulling out all stops to meet the increasing demand for diesel versions of the Passat. The rising popularity of diesel engines is mainly due to the longer range than of cars with gasoline engines. In July, about 40 percent of the Passats that were sold were TDI Clean Diesel models.

Volkswagen of America (VOA) is now trying to get more diesel engines for the Passat, which is built in the new plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. According to the plant’s spokesman, even more diesels could have been sold. That is why there are negotiations with other VW factories in order to get more TDI engines.

A Volkswagen manufacturing exec told me; "the 2013 model year is coming to an end, but nevertheless we are confident that we offer a strong range, with numerous innovations for the coming model year."

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In the United States, more than 75 percent of all passenger cars and SUV that are equipped with a diesel engine is a Volkswagen. The brand started in 1977 with a diesel model of the Rabbit.

This year, the counter Volkswagen has sold 56,480 TDI models, representing a quarter of all VW's sold in the USA.

To stress the benefits of TDI engines, in 2013 VW two teams have set long distance records with a Passat TDI with manual transmission. In 2012, the car drove 1,626 miles (2.616 km) on a single tank, which amounted to 84.1 mpg, or 2.8 l/100 km.

In 2014, Volkswagen will introduce its new 2-liter TDI Clean Diesel (EA288) with more power and an even lower fuel consumption.

Despite the fact that a diesel car costs between 2,500 and 4,000 dollar costs more than a model with a petrol engine, their popularity is increasing. LSD (Low Sulphur Diesel) is now available at 52 percent of the service stations.