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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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By michael67 on 3/11/2011 12:15:10 PM , Rating: 0
quote:
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.

I come from Holland, ware we have the biggest seaport in the world, and also here lots of goods go over the road, From Sweden to Italy/Spain and Russia.
But also lots go with the train of over the rivers to the rest of Europe, Not saying they should make diesel from one day to the other double in prize.
But if you do it slowly over time, you will see more economic truck's, and change it distribution of goods.
quote:
Increasing fuel cost for fleets dramatically impacts cost of living for all goods not just cars.

Not really like i said above you will just see a change in distribution of goods, to a more economic model.
quote:
I simply agree that it is not smart for Ford to invest heavily in a market that does not exist yet.

They have to, Ford Europe already got TDCi diesels, but they are less efficient then the VW TDIs,if they wane sell cars here they have to get more efficient, and they can put those efficient engines also in US cars.

They ware once Nr2 on the Dutch market, but they are now down to Nr5, and if they wane sell more cars here in the EU they have to come with more economical engines, because if i have to pick between a Ford ore a VW, i pick the VW for the better engines they have, diesel or petrol.
http://www.autozine.nl/enquete_verkoop.html


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