Ford Says It Can React Quickly If There is U.S. Demand for Diesel Cars
February 12, 2013 8:36 AM
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The Focus Estate, another Ford delicacy that we don't get in the United States
Ford offers diesel-powered cars in Europe already making a transition for the US very easy if needed
Several automakers have been announcing new vehicles powered by diesel engines for the U.S. market. Chevrolet recently announced the
Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel
will be bringing a diesel-powered version of its Mazda6 to the U.S. And we can’t forget that Volkswagen has been selling
in the U.S. for years with great success. Despite these major automakers announcing diesel-powered cars, Ford is still playing it safe.
Ford has long offered diesel engines in its heavy-duty F-Series pickups and will offer a diesel engine in its upcoming Transit commercial van (which will replace the E-Series), but is playing it safe when it comes to passenger cars.
"If we see diesels start to take off here in the U.S., we can react very quickly," said Ford's Mark Fields. While diesel-powered vehicles make up only 3% of retail passenger vehicle sales in the U.S., that figure was actually up by 25% in last year compared to 2011 according to
Ford already offers diesel-powered cars in Europe (where half of all vehicles sold come with a diesel engine) and other world markets as part of its global strategy. If Ford sees the demand in the United States increase significantly for diesel-powered cars, it would be easy to start placing those engines into vehicles destined for the United States. However, Americans would be facing a $3,000 to $4,000 premium compared to an equivalent gasoline-powered vehicle.
Ford has been slow to introduce diesel engines in its U.S. vehicles because it has put quite a bit of energy into promoting its EcoBoost engines instead. The turbocharged engines can be found in varying displacements in everything from the tiny Fiesta to the hulking F-150. However, the fuel efficiency ratings of those comparatively small, turbocharged engines
have recently come under fire
maintains that Ford's turbocharged engines offer little to no improvement over conventional engines in fuel efficiency or performance.
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2/14/2013 9:59:18 AM
I own a 2012 VW Golf TDI. Similarly equipped, my TDI was not $5,000 more than a gasoline Golf. It cost $26,900 after negotiating down from $28,650 sticker price, which represents about a $2,000 premium for the TDI v. gas. I have the DSG tranny too, which I really like.
Also, my Golf does NOT have a Urea tank, so whoever posted that Urea is required in the USA is incorrect. The 2013 Golf TDI does NOT have Urea either.
I drive approx 26,000/miles (US) per year, which is why the TDI made economic sense for me. My commute is approx 85% highway and 15% low speed. I routinely drive 70-75MPH and I track my
fuel economy via calculator (miles driven divided by exact gallons used since last fill-up, as dictated by the fuel pump) and I'm averaging 37-38MPG. That number is climbing as my engine gets broken in. It was 35MPG when I first bought the car. As a test, I forced myself to slow down to a maximum of 65MPH for one full tank of diesel and I got 39.8 MPG. I'm certain my car will eventually get 40-42MPG.
My TDI has a lot of torque, which makes it really fun to drive. At 70MPH the engine is spinning at just over 2,000 RPM, so it's a quiet car. Diesels naturally run cooler than gas engines so engine components last longer (I fully expect to get at least 200,000 miles out of my TDI). Over the life of the car, and at today's fuel costs, I expect to save almost $8,000 in fuel versus my previous car. For me, the TDI makes great economic sense. The fact it's practical AND really fun to drive is icing on the cake.
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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