Despite Low Diesel Prices, Ford Still Wary

Despite Low Diesel Prices, Ford Still Wary

With the U.S. national average price for diesel fuel ($2.52 a gallon) firmly less than that of regular unleaded gasoline ($2.62 a gallon), some light-duty pickup truck owners are wondering if this could mean that plans for half-ton diesel engines that had been shelved might now be revived. In the case of Ford and its 4.4-liter V-8 diesel F-150, the company remains in wait-and-see mode.

“We don’t have anything new to announce,” said Doug Scott, Ford's truck and SUV marketing manager. “We’re still sitting tight watching the picture [around diesel pricing] develop, though we have definitely noticed the drop in price below regular in the last six weeks, or so. For now, there are no changes to our plan for a diesel F-150.”

Last year, Scott and Don Ufford, chief engineer for Ford Truck Engineering, told that Ford's new EcoBoost gasoline turbocharged direct injection engines could be the right solution for light-duty diesel F-150 buyers instead of the 4.4-liter oil burner. EcoBoost shares a similar flat torque curve across its power band to diesel engines. An EcoBoost V-6 engine for the F-150 is expected in the second half of 2010.

Scott said Ford’s economic office expects diesel prices to climb again in the fourth quarter of 2009 and first quarter of 2010, as demand for home heating oil increases during the winter months.

Still, some truck buyers are already showing they’re ready to buy diesel trucks during this trend.

“There is increased demand for diesels in our Super Duty trucks,” Scott said. “Last year, the share of diesels sold was below 60 percent. Our more recent sales data shows 65 percent of the Super Duty mix is now diesel, but in the early part of the decade diesel had been as much as 75 percent of the mix.”


"An EcoBoost V-6 engine for the F-150 is expected in the second half of 2010."

Is that 2nd half of calender 2010 = Jul/Aug +


Is that 2nd half of 2010 model year = like Jan/Feb '10?

:( I assume its the first.

Ford is probably smart to hold off. I don't think prospective buyers understand the consequences of buying even a light duty diesel. The fuel mileage will not be there because of all the emission hardware they hang on these engines (courtesy of some tree hugging activist). And how about the cost to maintain that system (including Urea replenishment). And then there's the option upcharge for the privilege of saying you have a diesel under the hood. As much as I still believe in diesel power, it's becoming more difficult to justify. The EcoBoost V-6 sounds like a more viable option and probably more affordable.

Ford's diesel sales in the Super Duty are up b/c the 6.0L has been replaced. Also, there are fewer consumers buying these trucks compared to previous years.

Build the diesel 150!

Coudl sales for the diesel SuperDuty go down a bit when they get rid of the V10 and the new 6.2 comes out?

According to AAA, at least a month ago the average price of diesel was more expensive than gas. Since a week ago the price of diesel has been less than gas. However, the price of diesel is going up again. I believe they are correct to still be warry.

Now if in 2012 there is a new president and we are drilling here, drilling now so we could pay less. Then you could make a better case for the diesel.

Why dont they ditch the home grown 4.4 and use the already available proven 3.0 MB diesel found in the sprinter vans?

And what is with the Chrysler - are they going to offer the Cummins diesel in their all new Dodge Ram (incl. HD versions)?

Aron, the new 3/4 and 1 ton Heavy Duty Dodge trucks will have the 6.7 Cummins as an option (same engine as offered in past models).

The new half ton Dodge Ram will NOT get a light duty diesel. That project is on hold indefinitely. And at the price of fuel, don't plan to see one very soon.

So for now, only 3/4 and 1 ton models will offer diesel engines as options.

HD pickup fuel economy data is hard to come by, since the EPA doesn't rate them. After searching and searching for comparative data, I finally found the jackpot on Consumer Reports, and what a surprise that was (thank you, Consumer Reports!). The diesels didn't get any better fuel economy than the gas powered pickups. The heavy duty pickups are a bit heavier, true, but the 1/2 tons have way more than a 1/2 ton payload these days. The Ford 6.4L diesel got far worse mileage than all of them.

The reason is the emission equipment has strangled diesels to the point that there is little fuel economy benefit, over the increasingly efficient gasoline engines. Can you blame the auto makers for not coming out with light duty truck diesels? Also have you looked at the price of the diesel options now? They are EXPENSIVE. The auto companies don't want to look like fools, and create a debacle like GM did with their passenger car diesels, by bringing out diesel that don't make sense.

Gasoline engines have more efficiency improvements to go, too, including about 10% improvement with direct injection. Gasoline engines are also lasting longer and longer. It's really getting hard to justify diesels.

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