Not one to completely shy away from controversy, we understand that Audi’s Green Police Super Bowl ad caused quite a stir. And though personally, I found the ad amusing, I couldn’t help but think that given all of the controversy surrounding Toyota, car manufacturers that carry diesel lines like Audi may become the unintended beneficiaries of green conscious buyers. And for those of you who missed the ad:
Courtesy of YouTube and Audi
Consider some of the touted benefits of diesel engines and in particular, the Audi A3: 30% less fuel than comparable gasoline engine cars, a 30% reduction in of C02 emissions, 12% more powerful than gasoline engines and a chunky 609 miles to the tank. But don’t let me sell you on this car based on their marketing drivel, play with this turbo diesel calculator against other car models to see for yourself.
Now what Audi does not tell you relates to some of the precious metals at the core of some of these touted benefits. Precious metal demand (specifically platinum, palladium and rhodium) will increase due to new emissions standards in China, Europe and Japan along with a dozen or so states that have implemented tougher standards as well. These requirements will ultimately increase average platinum loadings per vehicle. Diesel engines, which rely heavily on platinum but for which palladium has become a growing substitute will also increase demand for these precious metals.
And as we have previously reported, automotive demand is forecast to grow in 2010 and with it PGM demand. Now whether or not you consider yourself green or not, 2010 will make for an interesting year to see how some of these diesel models do in comparison to the hybrids.