It’s the age-old question: Why do we still not have the wide range of clean-diesel models that automakers have offered to the rest of the world for decades?

It’s proven that diesel powered cars can offer hybrid-like fuel economy--even better in some situations--as well as thrilling performance and low maintenance costs. But the list of available diesel models in this country still pales in comparison to their gasoline counterparts.

With gas prices now on the rise, the lure of a miserly diesel is now more inviting than ever but many of the major automakers--excluding Volkswagen and Audi--still aren’t budging.

We’ve already looked at the five main reasons the automakers tout as to why they don’t sell diesels in greater numbers locally. Now Ford’s global product chief Derrick Kuzak has gone on to explain the Blue Oval’s stance on the issue, and why it's not likely to sell its ECOnetic line of ultra-efficient clean diesels in the U.S.

ford fiesta econetic motorauthority 002

ford fiesta econetic motorauthority 002

Speaking at a press event during the recent 2011 Geneva Motor Show, Kuzak has made it clear that Ford has no interest in diesels in the U.S. and will instead focus on its EcoBoost technology for improved fuel economy from gasoline engines. EcoBoost is essentially the use of direct injection and turbocharging to ring out extra performance from downsized engines.

He went on to describe the U.S. car buying public as being “pragmatic” and that they understood diesel cars cost more to produce, the fuel also costs more at the pump than gasoline and that it was harder to find.  

The final nail in the coffin for U.S. diesels, at least in Ford’s view, was that the payback period, the time it would take to eliminate the cost premium of a diesel model over a gasoline one in terms of fuel savings, would be around 10 years.

So there you have it, the reason why the major automakers don’t sell more diesels in this country direct from the horse’s mouth. Whether you choose to believe it or not is up to you, but with each passing day we’re starting to see more and more diesel models on sale locally and more choice is always a good thing.

[Automotive News, sub req’d]

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