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Ford shelves diesel Focus for North America due to cost concerns
AMY WILSON
Automotive News

DETROIT - Ford Motor Co.'s development efforts for a diesel Ford Focus for North America are on the back burner.

New COO Jim Padilla says the business case for diesel-powered small cars doesn't work. Diesel engines are costly because they have high-pressure fuel systems and need exhaust equipment required to meet pending U.S. emissions regulations.

"Do you think you can float that on the back of a C car (Focus-sized) in North America?" Padilla said. "The cost is just too high."

Ford has toyed with bringing a diesel Focus to the United States for several years. Last year President Nick Scheele said the automaker needs to introduce a diesel Focus for U.S. sale, even if the volume is small. Such a move would be akin to DaimlerChrysler AG's test of diesel acceptance with the introduction of a diesel-powered Jeep Liberty SUV this year.

But Padilla's comments, made in a May 4 interview, indicate that a diesel Focus for the United States may never happen - or may take several more years at least.

Volkswagen sells a diesel Jetta small car in the United States, but its base sticker is $19,245 - $2,925 more than the uplevel four-door Focus ZTS. The prices include destination charges.

Ford sells a diesel Focus in Europe, where diesel technology is more widespread. European consumers prefer small cars and are willing to pay more for them than U.S. consumers.

Selling a diesel Focus in the United States also is more complicated than just adopting the European version. U.S. emissions regulations get tougher after 2007 and would load even more cost on a diesel Focus, Padilla said.

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With low-sulfur diesel fuel coming in '06, and with the advent of these "vegetable oil" conversions, I think Ford is missing out. As gas prices go up people may want to switch over to diesel, especially in cars. Why let VW own the market?
 

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Well, at least they have a hybrid vehicle ---- I guess.
 

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God damnit. Wake up you stupid manufacturers. BRING DIESEL HERE NOW. Sigh. The only reason I've ever considered a Volkswagen vehicle is because of their TDI lineup.
 

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Originally posted by awalbert88@May 17 2004, 07:33 PM
God damnit. Wake up you stupid manufacturers. BRING DIESEL HERE NOW. Sigh. The only reason I've ever considered a Volkswagen vehicle is because of their TDI lineup.
They are all of them, the Jetta the Beetle and now the Passat Oh wait did I say all of them?
 

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In terms of fuel efficiency to cost ratio I would think diesel far exceeds hybrid vehicles. They seem like a far more practical alternative for high mileage vehicles, have proven reliability and gobbs of torque.
 

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Originally posted by doh+Jun 11 2004, 05:20 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (doh @ Jun 11 2004, 05:20 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-awalbert88@May 17 2004, 07:33 PM
God damnit.  Wake up you stupid manufacturers.  BRING DIESEL HERE NOW.  Sigh.  The only reason I've ever considered a Volkswagen vehicle is because of their TDI lineup.
They are all of them, the Jetta the Beetle and now the Passat Oh wait did I say all of them? [/b][/quote]
I tihnk he was referring tot he fact that VW has a TDI lineup...he probably already knows which models have TDI. Either way, diesel is a great alternative to gasoline, far more energy efficient. Not to mention that it costs less in the long run. I commend DC for their effort with the new Liberty diesel. I think that if more auto manufacturers designed and built more diesel vehicles then the general public would come to and realise how much better diesel is for the environment and for their pocketbook. Once the lower emmision diesel fuels come to North America it will be much better becuse there will be far less particulate emmissions which are the key current factor that restricts current diesels.
 
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