A Diesel In Every Drive?

New engines spark a race for market share in Europe

Thanks to breakthroughs in fuel-injection technology, European auto makers are marketing diesel-powered cars that are peppier, cleaner, quieter, and more efficient than ever. They are now one of the fastest-growing segments of Western Europe's 14-million-unit annual auto market. Their share will soar from one-quarter last year to one-third by 2003, says Peter Schmidt, editor of British newsletter Automotive Industry Data. The booming sales have sparked a fight for market dominance, pitting current leader Volkswagen against a rush of new entries from BMW, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Fiat, and Mercedes.

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