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Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president for global product development
Diesels just aren't the answer for Americans says Kuzak

While fully electric cars sound great in theory with their instant torque, near silent operation, and lack of fossil fuel emissions, many people are still apprehensive about "range anxiety" when the batteries start running low. Thankfully, we have a number of options on the table when it comes "green" vehicles.

Some manufacturers like to rely on hybrid technology to achieve crazy EPA numbers (Toyota Prius is EPA rated at 50 mpg combined). Others choose to put hyper-optimized traditional gasoline engines in their vehicles (the Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Elantra, and Chevrolet Cruze can achieve 40 mpg+ on the highway depending on trim level).

Another option is to use diesel engines. However, according to Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president for global product development, diesel engines will be relegated to its heavy duty trucks and won't be filtering down into its more consumer-friendly passenger vehicles.

Kuzak brags that Ford "could easily bring diesels to the U. S. market" since it already offers a number of diesel powertrain options around the globe in its vehicles. “It doesn’t make sense. We are not going to force it on customers,” he added.

Kuzak went on to tell Automotive News that there are a number of factors going against bringing diesel engines to mainstream cars including: 

  • Diesel engines are more expensive than their gasoline counterparts
  • Americans in general are apprehensive to diesel-powered cars
  • Diesel fuel remains more expensive than gasoline
  • The payback from the initial purchase price of a diesel vehicle versus the cost savings from increased fuel efficiency can take ten years

Interestingly, points one and four could easily be leveled against hybrid vehicles, yet Ford has an impressive hybrid in its stable already with the Fusion Hybrid (41 mpg city, 36 mpg highway).

According to Kuzak, Ford will continue to use advanced powertrains like EcoBoost (turbocharging + direct injection) and direct injection alone to achieve "near diesel" EPA ratings in its vehicles.

Despite Ford's reluctance to use diesel engines, archrival General Motors is reportedly eyeing a diesel engine for its U.S. market Cruze compact sedan. Likewise, Audi -- although it is a higher tier brand than Ford -- is looking to bring its diesel engines to three more nameplates within the next 24 months.



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RE: I'd say he is wrong - very wrong.
By michael67 on 3/11/2011 9:43:12 AM , Rating: 2
I bin driving petrol and diesel, and have to agree diesel drives great, and the backwards thinking that petrol is better then diesel is also antique.

I had and hated Volkswagen's golfs, but there engines are great specially there TDIs, as cant even break them if you try.
And a Golf has always bin a safe bed when it came to having a car that always works.
And the diesels have better track-record then petrol.

and the prizes differents you mentions is not really correct

1.2 TSI BlueMotion Technology 77 kW/105 pk 7-DSG € 18.640,-
1.6 TDI BlueMotion Technology 77 kW/105 pk 7-DSG € 20.950,-
MPG Town / Highway / Combined
petrol 36,1 / 51,1 / 44,3 $1066.59/y (combined calculated)
diesel 45,2 / 67,2 / 57,3 $890.05/y

With a small diesel the differences are the same, but if i had to pick i would still pick the diesel as its a mouths better car to drive.
But people wont know that till the drive one.

1.4 TSI 90 kW/122 pk 6-hand € 17.275,-
2.0 TDI 103 kW/140 pk 6-hand € 20.900,-
1.4 TSI 118 kW/160 pk 6-hand € 18.970,-
2.0 TDI 125 kW/170 pk 6-hand € 21.075,-
All prizes are without tax http://www.volkswagen.nl/home/modellen/golf/prijze...

Yeah diesel cost more but you get also a car that's more worth when you sell it, at least here in Europe.

And the attitude was also longtime here diesels suck, till people found out that the new diesels are actual better to drive then petrol cars.
It will take some time but think diesel will also become populair in the us.

But then small cars make more sens here in the EU with the mouths higher full prizes, it is a shame that the US dose not tax there full the same way as here €1.60/L ($6.- gallon) for petrol and €1.34/L ($5.- gallon) for diesel.

And yeah i hate filling up my car (GS450h), but what dose it mater ware i pay my tax, on the full-pomp ore on other tings.
It is for the country's trade surplus beneficial to have people drive small cars, specially in bad economic times.

I drove myself a normal GS350 before and the savings i have from driving hybrid is nice, but my next car going to be a CT200h, I just don't need a big car anymore
The same go's for my wife how is district manager of a supermarket chain and manages about 70 stores, and she drives a Golf 1.6 TDI.

Next to that i have a Nissan Skyline R33 (580hp) and a Jaguar XJS 6L V12 ware i spend 2y on to get it back in mint condition, so its not like i don't love fast ore big cars, and if the jag would be reliable for everyday use i would even love to drive that everyday to work, just the sound that V12 makes, hmmmm ^_^
But we don't live in the 60s anymore, and just wasting patrol on a big car just to go to and from work is just selfish, and i would like for my kids and grand kids also be able to drive a car wen they are 18 just as i was.

Its simple just rise full tax and lower the other taxes, and people will start driving smaller cars.


RE: I'd say he is wrong - very wrong.
By bah12 on 3/11/2011 11:03:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Its simple just rise full tax and lower the other taxes, and people will start driving smaller cars.
I agree, if our government wants to shape car buying habits, fuel tax is the place to do it. However this is tricky as we have a MUCH larger truck fleet. We are a BIG country with crappy rail service the VAST majority of stuff coming in on the west coast gets trucked to the east. Increasing fuel cost for fleets dramatically impacts cost of living for all goods not just cars. So as long as you could exempt them from the excess tax it may work.

*Note to Fit: I'm not saying they should, just that it would be far more effective than EV subsidies.
quote:
And the attitude was also longtime here diesels suck, till people found out that the new diesels are actual better to drive then petrol cars.

I'm not one with that attitude, I simply agree that it is not smart for Ford to invest heavily in a market that does not exist yet.


RE: I'd say he is wrong - very wrong.
By sprockkets on 3/13/2011 10:40:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And a Golf has always bin a safe bed when it came to having a car that always works.


You lost all credibility when you said that.


RE: I'd say he is wrong - very wrong.
By Calin on 3/14/2011 3:42:37 AM , Rating: 2
The German built Golf has indeed been a safe bet when wanting a car that always works. My father in law has an Golf 1 with automatic transmission, and I don't remember him doing anything but praising the reliability of that old car. I have an 18-years old Passat, and it too has been very reliable.
American built cars might be different


RE: I'd say he is wrong - very wrong.
By Keeir on 3/14/2011 3:22:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You lost all credibility when you said that.


No... you have exposed you lack of global knowledge.

The poster was obviously European.

In Europe, the VW Golf is one of the most popular and widely selling cars.

In fact, the VW Golf model sells around 400,000-500,000 units a year in Europe, a large chunk of the ~900,000 units yearly VW moves based on the Golf Platform.

Outside the US, VW seems to be able to deliver large numbers of fairly reliable automobiles. Worldwide sales for the VW Group are ~7-8 million (The Golf platform is highest selling) making VW one of the largest Automakers in the World.

On top of this, The Golf is often ranked very high in European surveys for consumer quality. (Europeans have significantly more brands and models to choose from... due in no small part to the larger population and national interests in keeping some brands alive)

This is what puzzles many VW fans in the United States. How cars when made for Germany/EU turn out to be more reliable that cars made for US/NA...


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