Published on March 15th, 2011 | by Christopher DeMorro36
Ford Exec Says Diesels Don’t Make Sense for America
Believe it or not, Ford makes some pretty awesome cars outside of America, including some 60 mpg diesels. Don’t expect those to come to America though, as a Ford executive says diesels don’t make sense for America. Boo.
Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s VP of global product development, told a group of European auto journalists and Automotive News that Ford could “easily” bring diesel powertrains to America, before adding that he thinks American customers “are pragmatic.”
What does that mean? Well, after I tried (and failed) to get a Ford representative to sign my petition to bring the diesel-powered global Ranger to America, I was told it was because retooling an engine factory to build oil burners would run upwards of $400 million. That is quite an investment, which would mean that a diesel engine option would add a hefty price premium to the final cost of the car.
Add to that the higher-than-gas prices of diesel, and Kuzak says it would take around 10 years for diesel customers to see any return on their more-efficient engines. And I hate to say it (because I really, really, really want a small, efficient diesel pickup) but that argument makes a lot of sense.
Instead of premium diesel engines, Ford is focusing on fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines for American customers, which still carry a price premium, but less than diesel engines (on the F-150, the EcoBoost V6 only costs $1,500 more than the 5.0 liter V8 engine.) Ford thinks it can squeeze diesel efficiency out of gasoline engines, and that strategy could pay big dividends as Americans seem unlikely to embrace diesels any time soon. Not that I am complaining about Ford’s turbocharged future…I was just really hoping to experience European-like levels of diesel burning efficiency in an American car for once.
Source: Automotive News
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.