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Old 03-14-2009, 05:57 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 11,590,843 times
Reputation: 4125

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Ford has announced that they will not release their Econetic version of the Fiesta in the USA because "Americans do not like diesel engines, and believe they wouldn't be able to recoup the $300 mln that it would take to retool their Mexico factory to build the engines."

Huh???

I know tons of people who drive diesel. Some even drive their diesel engines with used cooking oil + a touch of pure alcohol. Seriously, they just drive to a Mexican restaurant and ask for 5-6 gallons of used cooking oil they don't want anymore and filter it with nylon, mix in the alcohol, let it sit for a week and voila! Home made diesel. For $0.50 to $1.00 a gallon, tops. And you get normal diesel reliability and mileage.

Now I know that not all Americans live in the NW, but all of this negative image of diesel is due to the stupid decision in the 70s to basically slap some bits on normal gas engine cars to convert them to diesel and you got terrible emissions and smoke.

So ... Ford is only slightly not bankrupt... and they tout environmental responsibility and green tech as the path forward ... but they won't give us a car that gets 65 mpg? WTF? Anyone have a clue why my tax money goes towards tax breaks for this numbskull company?
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:15 PM
 
13,808 posts, read 24,867,779 times
Reputation: 14178
Ford doesn't think that they can recoup that $300 mil by selling diesel versions of that car. I don't think that's so far from reality. Just because you know people who used veggie oil doesn't mean 100,000 people a year did, and if they did you can bet it would no longer be free!!!

Also I don't think the newer diesel engines can even burn bio-diesel.

Some more math.

Converting the cost of diesel to gasoline costs mean that instead of 65 mpg you get an adjusted 58.5 MPG (diesel is about 10% more, therefore even though you get more MPG it costs more to go that distance) compared to the 45.6 MPG of the gasoline car.

Typical person driving 12000 miles per year would have to buy about 58 gallons of gasoline more to go the same distance as the diesel, and at current prices you're talking aruond $116 per year extra in fuel.

Estimated cost of the Fiesta gasoline version is $12k-$16k loaded. Diesel costs we expected at $25,700, a difference of $9,700 - $13,700. Payback time EXCLUDING additional finance charges would be 83 - 118...wait for it...years.

Last edited by wheelsup; 03-14-2009 at 06:36 PM..
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Fly-over country.
1,765 posts, read 6,818,844 times
Reputation: 919
They know the car culture of the US hasn't fully accepted reality. We also have the rules all wrong for diesel cars in the US.

Wait for another few rounds of fuel price panic and maybe one of the big three will "get it."

Until then, you'll be stuck with crappy gas/electric hybrids no one wants to buy.
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:43 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
2,715 posts, read 10,758,302 times
Reputation: 1419
Not until diesel fuel prices are the same or below will Americans start to accept diesels. I know they may be more economical MPG wise, but Americans don't like to do math.

I asked a co-worker the other day what he thought of diesel cars (specifically the 09 Jetta TDI) and he replied I thought diesels don't start in the Winter
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:45 PM
 
13,808 posts, read 24,867,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfrisco View Post
Not until diesel fuel prices are the same or below will Americans start to accept diesels. I know they may be more economical MPG wise, but Americans don't like to do math.
Even if you doubled the cost of gasoline it would take over 40 years to pay back the cost differential of this Fiesta. Ford already did the math - and it doesn't add up. I for one wouldn't even dream of buying the diesel version of that car.
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:50 PM
 
48,507 posts, read 90,845,049 times
Reputation: 18204
I really don't have anything against diesels except one thing. The smell. I remember that when I went to Orlando one time there were so many diesels that the air would choke you.Ohtet ahn that I wouldn'd really want a stereo with one because of teh noise. I know they say tehy are quiter but I haven't noticed it really.
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:20 PM
 
2,024 posts, read 4,948,956 times
Reputation: 1996
I like them in tractors only, in cars and trucks it's large gas engines only for me.
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Still in Portland, Oregon, for some reason
890 posts, read 3,375,285 times
Reputation: 742
I believe when you talk to most Americans about diesel they think of a 1980 Mercedes 300SEL diesel that requires a calendar to measure acceleration and smokes like crazy. In American speak, Diesel is an engine that is unrefined, delivers minimalist performance and smells.

Modern diesels are SO much better. I used to work for a local Audi dealership that uses a Dodge Sprinter for their parts delivery van. I put my fair share of miles on that rig and let me tell you, the Mercedes diesel engine in the Sprinter has some cajones. It may only rate at 154 horsepower but it's got 280 lb. ft. of torque and it will spin the tires off the line if you're not careful. It's smooth as silk, doesn't stink, and only clatters ever so slightly when cold.

I would love to buy a new Hyundai Santa Fe with the 2.2 liter diesel they've touted for Europe (170 hp, 320 lb. ft. of torque) but alas, it is not bound for the states.
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Floribama
18,280 posts, read 37,486,707 times
Reputation: 17643
Quote:
Originally Posted by 73-79 ford fan View Post
I like them in tractors only, in cars and trucks it's large gas engines only for me.
I like the PowerStroke diesel in the F-250/350 trucks, but still, I don't know if I would like a diesel in a car.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Southern California Mountains
563 posts, read 1,335,406 times
Reputation: 456
I'm a big fan of my rattling 28 year old VW Rabbit Diesel LS. Yes, it stinks. Yes, it rattles like it will come apart. Yes, to replace the glowplugs is a pain. But the gas mileage is terrific and it's the cutest clown car! And I paid $500 for it.
VW's modern diesels are quiet and efficient. Very nice! I'm jealous!
Regarding using WVO (waste vegetable oil), it's best to filter using commercially bought filters...5 microns is borderline, smaller is even better. Denim works well in a pinch.
Special considerations must be made if using WVO, which, BTW, is NOT biodiesel...it's WVO. You must heat the oil, start the motor with commercial diesel and shut it down flushing with diesel. WVO must be at least 160 degrees to be used by a typical engine. Check out this informative website:
Greasecar Vegetable Fuel Systems
We installed one of these conversion systems in a VW Rabbit and it worked flawlessly. Check out the car's pic in my album.
We also have a Dodge 4x4 with the Cummins 6 and you can't beat it for 18 mpg pulling 7,000 pounds. Really.
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