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Old 08-12-2011, 08:17 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Ford Diesel: To Be or Not to Be?

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TRAVERSE CITY – Ford builds turbodiesel-powered cars in Europe but is not rushing to offer them in the U.S., Dan Kapp, director-Powertrain Research, tells Ward’s following his address at the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars here.

Currently, Ford offers diesels in the U.S. only on its heavy-duty F-Series pickups.

“I love diesels and want them to be a solution,” Kapp says. “But it’s a tough economic challenge.” Turbodiesels typically add 10% to 15% to a vehicle’s cost, and diesel fuel currently runs about $0.20 higher than regular gasoline.

“Will customers pay more for a diesel? Will they get a payback?” he asks. “Diesel fuel may continue to go up in price, so we’re looking at it. It may be that diesels will be a choice (vis a vis) electric vehicles.”
Kapp says Ford might offer a diesel in the U.S. “if there’s market demand.” General Motors recently revealed it will offer a turbodiesel option on the Chevrolet Cruze subcompact. The Cruze competes with the Ford Focus turbodiesel in Europe.

Meeting the proposed federal fuel-economy standard of 54.5 mpg (4.3 L/100 km) by 2025 “will depend on the technology to get there. But the question in my mind is ‘What’s the consumer equation?’” he says, implying that meeting the bogey may prove costly to car buyers.

Assessing the outlook for powertrains, Kapp says improving the efficiency of internal- combustion engines will remain the first order of business. He cites Ford’s EcoBoost technology, now available on 13 models, including the optional V-6 on the F-150 pickup line traditionally powered by V-8s.


Dan Kapp, Ford’s director of powertrain research.

“The V-6 is now accounting for 41% of all F-150 sales,” Kapp says. “The would’ve been unthinkable just a few years ago.”

Between 2012 and 2017, auto makers will push for weight savings ranging from 200 lbs. to 700 lbs. (91 to 317 kg) to help meet increasingly tougher fuel-economy standards.

“If we can build it lighter, we can use a smaller engine, which also saves weight as well as improving fuel economy,” Kapp point out.
http://wardsauto.com/home/ford_diesel_be_110802/
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:44 AM   #2
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how do these CEO's get where they are and be so stupid. Getting better mpg to consumers is not about getting your money back. It is about the image of driving a green car. They just need to market diesels as a green solution with no range anxiety. The smart way to go green and 'save the planet'. The whole green movement is marketing BS anyway, they need to get on board with it and coax folks out of their prius and leaf and into a ford diesel.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:11 AM   #3
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All I know about this is that if you go to myfordstory the most popular alt-energy poll is Diesel. I gave up on the site when the FFV polls were being outnumber by calls for a new RWD boat by lincoln(which wasn't that many compared to the ecoboost mustang polls) @.@
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
how do these CEO's get where they are and be so stupid. Getting better mpg to consumers is not about getting your money back. It is about the image of driving a green car. They just need to market diesels as a green solution with no range anxiety. The smart way to go green and 'save the planet'. The whole green movement is marketing BS anyway, they need to get on board with it and coax folks out of their prius and leaf and into a ford diesel.
They already have EcoBoost for that. I wouldn't bring over diesel cars if I were them either. I think a lot of non-business folks fail to realize that just because some people will buy a car doesn't mean there is enough demand to make them profitable. You will be competing in a niche with an established player like VW. They are taking the right approach with waiting to see how the Cruze does IMO.

That being said I think a diesel F150 or Ranger would be a big seller.
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:17 PM   #5
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With luck the Cruze will make them think again (or at least pretend to think while they cash out some more stock options).
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:22 PM   #6
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The difference in fuel economy b/w gasser and diesel models is closing in in small cars.
Tough sell on 10-15% up front cost plus more expensive fuel. I predict many of them will sit on the lot for a while if they brought it over.

Now for mid size SUVs like the 4Runner, gimme. Don't care about price. Want.
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:42 PM   #7
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I think they are being short sighted. Diesel offers so many more production options than gas. Not all the fuel will keep coming out of the ground. A good long term bet is to get it to market.

I seem to remember all the bad press about the Prius. Toyota was loosing their arse with each one, MBA business model this, accountant business model that. The Prius name alone is worth hundreds of millions in marketing now.

Pick a long term goal that makes sense and make it happen.

Peace,

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Old 08-12-2011, 02:07 PM   #8
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“if there’s market demand.
this means Ford won't do it until someone else does, and is successful. That's probably the reason the majority of other non-german makes haven't tried it (hello Honda!)
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by b4wantab View Post
I think they are being short sighted. Diesel offers so many more production options than gas. Not all the fuel will keep coming out of the ground. A good long term bet is to get it to market.

Peace,
Greg
They still sell diesels in Europe so they aren't losing out on any development costs if that happens (I don't think it will). So what exactly are they being short sighted about? You think the market will suddenly shift to demanding diesels and Ford will be caught with their pants down? Frankly I can't see any scenario where that happens, the auto market just doesn't move that fast. The only argument you could make (and are) is that they are losing brand equity they could get by selling diesels. I'd argue they already have plenty from selling diesel heavy duty trucks and have little to nothing to gain from pushing diesel cars right now.
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:34 PM   #10
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[...]That being said I think a diesel F150 or Ranger would be a big seller.
That's right. Offering a Diesel in small cars like the Fiesta/Focus may be questionable in the U.S. (although it's perfectly fine for anybody else around the world...).
But, Diesel engines make a lot of sense in larger vehicles and especially pick-up trucks. A cargo boat like the new Taurus could surely benefit from a Diesel powertrain (Explorer and Expedition as well).
While Ford and others are waiting on the sidelines, VW keeps expending their clean-Diesel offering. The Jetta was first. Now, almost the entire line-up is clean-Diesel powered (Golf, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, Touareg). This stuff is selling and it's selling well.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:53 PM   #11
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I think that regulations will make an efficient, cheap diesel hard to build from the manufacturing side. With battery prices coming down, hybrids are making more and more sense considering that you get near diesel highway mpg and way better than diesel city mpg for the same "premium".
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:27 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by neg_matnik View Post
That's right. Offering a Diesel in small cars like the Fiesta/Focus may be questionable in the U.S. (although it's perfectly fine for anybody else around the world...).
But, Diesel engines make a lot of sense in larger vehicles and especially pick-up trucks. A cargo boat like the new Taurus could surely benefit from a Diesel powertrain (Explorer and Expedition as well).
While Ford and others are waiting on the sidelines, VW keeps expending their clean-Diesel offering. The Jetta was first. Now, almost the entire line-up is clean-Diesel powered (Golf, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, Touareg). This stuff is selling and it's selling well.
Selling well for a VW... They have what, 15% of the market? And they've got a built in customer base for diesels.

The financials just don't work out for diesel in compact cars today. A VW Jetta gets 40mpg highway, so do the Hyundai Elantra, Cruze Eco and Focus SFE, and gasoline is cheaper than diesel. Combine that with the enormously complex, expensive and unreliable emissions equipment on diesels and it just doesn't make sense. Just go take a look at tdiclub.com for lots of info on just how not ready for prime time the VW clean diesel was.

Maybe the next generation of diesels will solve these problems, I'll be watching Mazda's Sky-D with great interest.

Trucks are a different matter though. Towing = diesel good!
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:01 PM   #13
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Gf was looking for a new car this summer. We tried new accent, new focus, tdi golf. She went with tdi, averaging above epa rating so far, and historically tdi resale value is utterly ridiculous though probably won't continue as econoboxes improve.

Sure all 3 had mpg around 40 hwy, power was in no way comparable though, then again neither was the price between the vw and accent.

I love diesels, wish there were more in the us. Diesel forester would be nice.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:30 AM   #14
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Selling well for a VW... They have what, 15% of the market? And they've got a built in customer base for diesels.

The financials just don't work out for diesel in compact cars today. A VW Jetta gets 40mpg highway, so do the Hyundai Elantra, Cruze Eco and Focus SFE, and gasoline is cheaper than diesel. Combine that with the enormously complex, expensive and unreliable emissions equipment on diesels and it just doesn't make sense. Just go take a look at tdiclub.com for lots of info on just how not ready for prime time the VW clean diesel was.

Maybe the next generation of diesels will solve these problems, I'll be watching Mazda's Sky-D with great interest.

Trucks are a different matter though. Towing = diesel good!
I did say that Diesel power is a questionable proposition in compact cars (for the U.S. market). And by the way, I don't really consider the Jetta a compact sedan (especially in its latest iteration - larger than the model it replaces -). I'll say again though, in larger vehicles (midsize and full size sedans/wagons, midsize and large SUVs, minivans) Diesel engines are doing very well. I'm getting tired of the excuses Ford and other manufacturers are coming up with to avoid working on a descent Diesel offering for the US market. Not being able to buy a Diesel-powered F150 or Silverado 1500 is just plain ridiculous. Even more ridiculous is that gas-electric hybrid Silverado 1500 .
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:04 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
how do these CEO's get where they are and be so stupid. Getting better mpg to consumers is not about getting your money back. It is about the image of driving a green car. They just need to market diesels as a green solution with no range anxiety. The smart way to go green and 'save the planet'. The whole green movement is marketing BS anyway, they need to get on board with it and coax folks out of their prius and leaf and into a ford diesel.
It is called networking usually The better question from my perspective is why do they get paid so much when they don't appear to know much more than a regular joe. Maybe it is the suits.
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:51 AM   #16
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Diesel is a big risk due to the upfront increase in cost, the price of diesel, and concerns about the reliability of diesel emissions equipment. I think they are doing the right thing (business-wise) by being cautious.
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:40 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by neg_matnik View Post
I did say that Diesel power is a questionable proposition in compact cars (for the U.S. market). And by the way, I don't really consider the Jetta a compact sedan (especially in its latest iteration - larger than the model it replaces -).
(Emphasis mine)

DOT/EPA interior/cargo volume (ft^3)from fueleconomy.gov:

Jetta Sedan : 94/16
Elantra Sedan: 96/15
Focus Sedan: 90/13
Cruze Sedan: 94/16

The Jetta seems pretty comparable to me. It certainly doesn't belong in the same class with the Fusion/Camry/Accord/Sonata.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:08 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by gpshumway View Post
(Emphasis mine)

DOT/EPA interior/cargo volume (ft^3)from fueleconomy.gov:

Jetta Sedan : 94/16
Elantra Sedan: 96/15
Focus Sedan: 90/13
Cruze Sedan: 94/16

The Jetta seems pretty comparable to me. It certainly doesn't belong in the same class with the Fusion/Camry/Accord/Sonata.
Size classifications are based on weight AFAIK. So comparing volume doesn't do much for ya.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:24 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by gpshumway View Post
(Emphasis mine)

DOT/EPA interior/cargo volume (ft^3)from fueleconomy.gov:

Jetta Sedan : 94/16
Elantra Sedan: 96/15
Focus Sedan: 90/13
Cruze Sedan: 94/16

The Jetta seems pretty comparable to me. It certainly doesn't belong in the same class with the Fusion/Camry/Accord/Sonata.
Right, somehow the Jetta looks bigger to me, but numbers show the others are just as big (at least inside).
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:35 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by sxotty View Post
Size classifications are based on weight AFAIK. So comparing volume doesn't do much for ya.
The EPA classifies the Jetta as a compact car.

http://www.epa.gov/fueleconomy/class-high.htm
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:50 PM   #21
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I think they are being short sighted. Diesel offers so many more production options than gas. Not all the fuel will keep coming out of the ground. A good long term bet is to get it to market.

I seem to remember all the bad press about the Prius. Toyota was loosing their arse with each one, MBA business model this, accountant business model that. The Prius name alone is worth hundreds of millions in marketing now.

Pick a long term goal that makes sense and make it happen.

Peace,

Greg
Not really. The best alternative option for Diesel is Ethanol by far. The yield per acre with Veg oil is pitiful. The future of ICE engine tech is FFV HCCI, then you could run whichever fuel you wanted or that is available.

It would be a waste of resources for Ford to get an ecoboost on all of their cars/trucks only to introduce Diesel. Ford already figures that "Ecoboost" is more cost effective for consumers than bringing Diesels to the US or hybrid cars. That is the direction they are heading.

And Diesel is not "Green" at all. It isn't even green "washable" as it generates more CO2 per mile. The reason it is popular in Europe is the taxes and the cost per mile. In the US the emissions are more strict on Diesels due to NOx emissions so they install urea filters .
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:29 PM   #22
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[...] In the US the emissions are more strict on Diesels due to NOx emissions so they install urea filters .
Not always. The Golf/Jetta/Jetta SportWagen (maybe Passat and Tiguan as well) are getting away with a simpler NOx trap/absorber (which physically looks like a cat converter).
Also note that, for instance, some Euro MB models are also using urea tanks just like their U.S. counterparts. BTW, I don't think having a urea tank is such a big deal anyway.
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:23 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by neg_matnik View Post
Not always. The Golf/Jetta/Jetta SportWagen (maybe Passat and Tiguan as well) are getting away with a simpler NOx trap/absorber (which physically looks like a cat converter).
Also note that, for instance, some Euro MB models are also using urea tanks just like their U.S. counterparts. BTW, I don't think having a urea tank is such a big deal anyway.
The real secret to the Jetta & Golf not needing adblue is the aggressive EGR system. Unfortunately the new low pressure EGR circuit causes water to condense in the intercooler. In cold weather it can freeze and completely block the intake and in really bad scenarios it can melt and get ingested into the engine all at once, causing hydro lock. Several cars have gotten new engines as a result.

The heavier Passat & Tiguan cars can't get away without urea injection IIRC.

I'd certainly prefer urea to random hydro-lock events.
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