Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Ford's 65MPG Due In November, But Not In the US

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the found-on-road-dead dept.

Transportation 1103

computermesh writes "Ford has a vehicle that gets 65MPG and will not be released in the US. Why? Because they can not afford to! 'Ford's 2009 Fiesta ECOnetic goes on sale in November. But here's the catch: Despite the car's potential to transform Ford's image and help it compete with Toyota Motor (TM) and Honda Motor (HMC) in its home market, the company will sell the little fuel sipper only in Europe. "We know it's an awesome vehicle," says Ford America President Mark Fields. "But there are business reasons why we can't sell it in the U.S." The main one: The Fiesta ECOnetic runs on diesel.'"

cancel ×

1103 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Does that mean it can run on BIOdiesel? (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017337)

Biodiesel is about the only fuel which really can be produced from crops/tanks of sludge.

The USA should be encouraging diesel engines for all it's worth, not making things difficult.

Re:Does that mean it can run on BIOdiesel? (5, Informative)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017363)

But California's under the mistaken belief that NOx emissions are the source of their smog problems, except in a VOC rich environment (basically any environment with a heavy percentage of gasoline cars,) smog is [b]reduced[/b] but NOx emissions, especially those from diesels.

But, they don't seem to quite get that, and public perception is that diesels are dirty, so...

Re:Does that mean it can run on BIOdiesel? (5, Informative)

bfizzle (836992) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017481)

They have fixed the problem by creating affordable and effective catalytic converts for diesel.

Check out VW's new TDI they just released for the US. Way more low end torque than gasoline and almost 50 mpg. I have no idea why the US hasn't fallen in love with diesel yet.

Re:Does that mean it can run on BIOdiesel? (4, Interesting)

Sique (173459) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017539)

I actually have a 140 HP VW Diesel engine in my car, and I love it. :) (And no, it's not a VW, it's a Skoda).

Re:Does that mean it can run on BIOdiesel? (5, Informative)

rsw (70577) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017667)

I have no idea why the US hasn't fallen in love with diesel yet.

Well, I have. I just bought one of the Jetta TDI wagons and it's amazing. I can get 50 MPG in mixed city/highway driving plus intermittent AC with some mild hypermiling techniques (fixed consumption hill climb, engine braking, anticipating traffic ahead; no pulse/glide or unpowered driving) and I expect that the fuel consumption will go down measurably as the engine breaks in (peak compression increases by 20% over the break-in of a VW TDI engine). All this in a car that's big enough to fit five people plus cargo.

Re:Does that mean it can run on BIOdiesel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25017685)

Maybe because its consistently $1.00 to $1.50 more than gasoline per gallon?

Re:Does that mean it can run on BIOdiesel? (3, Interesting)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017743)

The same turbo 4 gets 263 hp if it runs on regular gas. That's one reason the US hasn't fallen in love with underpowered, stinky diesels yet. Maybe if gas were heading towards $5 a gallon instead of back to $3 a gallon, diesels might gain some traction.

Re:Does that mean it can run on BIOdiesel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25017915)

Maybe if gas were heading towards $5 a gallon instead of back to $3 a gallon

Don't worry. You'll get your wish come November 5th.

Re:Does that mean it can run on BIOdiesel? (3, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017567)

That "mistaken belief" comes as the product of a lot of research into particulate emissions.

Still, Ford misses another opportunity to do good, as the emissions of this econobox are said to be decently low-- in the face of amazingly bad gas guzzlers throughout the state.

Remember that fuel in the EU runs between 8-11euros per gallon, adjusted. The car sell will sell well there, and we need to rebalance the trade deficits away from the Chinese for a change.

Re:Does that mean it can run on BIOdiesel? (1)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017923)

Sorry to disappoint you there, but this will do nothing for our trade deficit. Those are build at Ford (Germany) afaik.
As for the particulate idea and diesels, the time of passenger car diesels having bad particulate emissions is long past. But since CA can't do anything about trucks and diesel emissions (due to federal regulations) they decided that "every little bit helps" and hit out on car diesels, preferring double the CO2 to the particulate.

Bull fucking shit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25017597)

But California's under the mistaken belief

You are speaking out of your ass. Converting corn to bio-deisel will cause inflation of value. It takes somthing like 600 pounds of corn to create 25 gallons of ethanol, which feeds a fatass American for over 15 months. Not to mention that corn strips the soil of nutrients quicker than cotton. What will they think of next that will MAKE MONEY and KILL THE ONES THAT CAN'T BUY?

Try the kill-all: HHO. Look for a good setup of plates or cylinders, in stainless 316L.

Hydrogen-Hydrogen-Oxygen, plenty of it before and after, and the pre-arrainged setup to create it is under US $75, so what the FUCK keeps you from trying it? or you can build your own for under US $30, so get off your worldly griesel ass and stop flooding the forum with your snivveling "We gots to yoose only diesel" and "water-powered things are lunzatics lol" !!!one11

Re:Bull fucking shit (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25017761)

And where do you intend to get the energy to split the hydrogen atoms from the oxygen?

Re:Does that mean it can run on BIOdiesel? (2, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017603)

But, they don't seem to quite get that, and public perception is that diesels are dirty, so...

That public perception is backed up by decades of diesels smelling like hell and belching soot. It's not really so crazy.

Re:Does that mean it can run on BIOdiesel? (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017851)

I'm not saying that the public perception isn't rooted in some truth, somewhere, but it means that it's much easier for California to set the bar extremely high for diesels than it is for them to ban gasoline cars.

(Then again, there are suspicions that CARB is trying to outright ban the liquid-fueled combustion engine.)

Re:Does that mean it can run on BIOdiesel? (0)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017673)

Diesels are dirty. Get out, go behind your diesel, and take a wiff. I suppose those visible emissions--you know, the ones that you can't actually see in non-diesel vehicles)--are great for reducing smog as well?

Re:Does that mean it can run on BIOdiesel? (3, Informative)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017715)

Nope, turbocharge the diesel engine so it has a proper fuel-air mix instead of burning dirty around the outside of the chamber, and that goes away.

Re:Does that mean it can run on BIOdiesel? (5, Interesting)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017773)

First off, my diesel hasn't been on the road for almost a year.

Second, how about getting out, going behind a 2009 diesel, and taking a whiff? There's nothing. The tailpipe is clean inside, even - can't say that about a gasoline car.

And, finally, the visible particulates from diesels settle to the ground, and if you inhale them, don't go nearly as deep as the gasoline ultrafine particulates that you can't see, and are much more likely to cause cancer. (Oh, and my gasoline car has visible emissions. I know, I know.)

Re:Does that mean it can run on BIOdiesel? (4, Informative)

anonicon (215837) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017689)

This shouldn't matter since clean diesel was implemented nationwide in the U.S. in 2007. It requires both the fuel and the car to abide by the clean diesel standards set forth, and is about 90+% cleaner than old diesel:

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/how-clean-diesel-fuel-works.htm [howstuffworks.com]

Chuck

Re:Does that mean it can run on BIOdiesel? (3, Informative)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017811)

Clean diesel fuel just means it's possible to put a $2000 particulate filter and another $1000 (or so) NOx trap on a car, it doesn't make those parts cheap.

Re:Does that mean it can run on BIOdiesel? (1)

ngg (193578) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017841)

But California's under the mistaken belief that NOx emissions are the source of their smog problems, except in a VOC rich environment (basically any environment with a heavy percentage of gasoline cars,) smog is [b]reduced[/b] but NOx emissions, especially those from diesels.

But, they don't seem to quite get that, and public perception is that diesels are dirty, so...

Well, the EPA [epa.gov] disagrees with you on the point of NOx and VOC. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding your post? Also, the public perception of diesels not entirely undeserved. Diesel engines (at least those not equipped with a particulate trap) emit a lot of soot, which is no better for your lungs than NOx+VOC smog.

Without living in Los Angeles, it's pretty hard to appreciate how much the pollution controls on cars and truck matter. In other areas of the country, the various pollutant can disperse downwind, but that doesn't happen in LA because the wind comes from the West and there are mountains to the East. The result is that everything just accumulates until it get dumped over by Riverside, on the east end of the basin. A quick google of the California Air Resources Board with turn up some scary movies from about 50 years ago that show LA looking like Beijing.

Re:Does that mean it can run on BIOdiesel? (3, Insightful)

rtechie (244489) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017789)

Biodiesel is about the only fuel which really can be produced from crops/tanks of sludge.

Without getting into the details, diesel itself has advantages and disadvantages but biodiesel is snake oil. There is not enough cast-off high-energy crops/sludge to cover any significant usage and purpose-made biodiesel is made at a net loss. Just like ethanol, it's a nice idea that has no chance of working. Even worse, ethanol has the evil corn lobby behind it.

Re:Does that mean it can run on BIOdiesel? (1)

cream wobbly (1102689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017793)

and despite reports to the contrary, it's not the reason behind food shortages.

Biofuels barely register a ripple on the tidal wave that is meat production; even when you include ethanol production. Biodiesel, even virgin biodiesel, is way less stressful to the environment than the pollution which comes with fossil fuel refinement. And yes, I've heard of biodiversity and deforestation.

The long term answer seems to be tanks of sludge, which I'm not sure is the same thing the parent is referring to. Tanks of sludge, where "sludge" is algae, fed by the exhaust of power stations. Also gives you pharmaceutical grade DHA & EPA omega-3s. (Handy for when we cause the extinction of fish owing to the misapprehension that DHAs are "fish oils".)

Yep, Ford has missed an opportunity to snag a customer or several. Stick to motorized wheelbarrows Ford, you haven't got a clue.

Truth (5, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017345)

They're correct in that there are business reasons.

For example, they don't want the bottom to fall out of the market of their other cars, because they know that this would be their top #1 seller, and most of their other cars would become a lot less popular.

Also, there's probably some kind of collusion going on. We could make a 45mpg car that has decent numbers back in the 80's, but we can't make anything comparable now? Bullshit. There's something behind the scenes.

Re:Truth (0)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017379)

There's something behind the scenes.

I will give you one hint - it costs about 30$ to pull a barrel of oil out of the ground, at the most (think oil sands in Ontario).

Re:Truth (3, Insightful)

Flavio (12072) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017449)

I will give you one hint - it costs about 30$ to pull a barrel of oil out of the ground, at the most (think oil sands in Ontario).

This answer would only make sense if Ford sold oil instead of cars.

Re:Truth (4, Funny)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017503)

Ford sells cars? Wow, I need to pay more attention.

Re:Truth (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25017623)

Oil sands in Ontario??? You mean Alberta, but hey, what's 3000 kilometres....

Re:Truth (2, Funny)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017797)

Exactly. Ontario is always trying to screw Alberta.

Re:Truth (5, Funny)

Shark (78448) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017885)

but hey, what's 3000 kilometres....

14912.87 furlong

Re:Truth (1)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017831)

(think oil sands in Ontario).

Why would I do that? They are in Alberta and Saskatchewan. And Oilsands cost about $11/BBl to pull out of the ground. Less if it's insitu (SAG-D).

Re:Truth (4, Interesting)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017395)

Also, there's probably some kind of collusion going on. We could make a 45mpg car that has decent numbers back in the 80's, but we can't make anything comparable now? Bullshit. There's something behind the scenes.

Could it be that the cars today have tighter emissions and safety regulations, which cost efficiency and weight, respectively?

Re:Truth (5, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017619)

Ok. My 1998 can get 50 MPG. My friends 2003 can get 50 MPG. VW (and the rest of the germans) have made 50 MPG cars for ages and all that meet safety regulations.

Oh, the other "problem" is that it is manual transmission. Slushboxes suck up fuel economy like most people don't even believe.

As someone else pointed out if California wasn't so anal about the NOx more diesels could be let in. Most of the NOx is the 'good' kind (NO2 or NO3, I forget) and not the 'bad' kind. But somehow a 8 MPG hummer is Ok.

I once heard an argument between two people the other day about the "new" V6 some company released that only has 245 HP while some other company's V6 can get 255 HP. I drive a 90 HP turbodiesel. It tops out at around 125 MPH. Most on ramps are long enough to get me up to 80-90 MPH. We have some huge hills around here and it's one of the only I4s I've been in that can accelerate you up the hill (torque rocks).

Diesel is much quieter on the road. Where gassers are turning 3000+ rpm I'm around 2000, and at peak torque, no downshifting.

And on the subject of "safety regulations" I've heard countless people talk about buying or riding their motorcycles more in the name of 'fuel economy.' How safe are those things? Most people don't understand there can be a middle ground between an awesome MPG motorcycle and a tank of an SUV? Personally I'd take something 100x safer than a motorcycle that got me 50 MPG even if it was only slightly less safe than an SUV.

Simply put. Most of my American brethren are absolute idiots.

Re:Truth (1)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017645)

Also, there's probably some kind of collusion going on. We could make a 45mpg car that has decent numbers back in the 80's, but we can't make anything comparable now? Bullshit. There's something behind the scenes.

Could it be that the cars today have tighter emissions and safety regulations, which cost efficiency and weight, respectively?

Or perhaps, they could still meet the efficiency with all you said but it would go from 0-60 in the amount of time that folks feel that they need - all the reasons are just rationalizations. I'm with your parent though. it's all bullshit and I really really hope a grandstanding politician shoves this in Fords face when they go begging for a hand ..I mean "loan".

But Ford will still get their money because Congress works for Corp America: not for us.

Regardless of who's elected in November, we, the people, are getting in the ass.

Re:Truth (2, Insightful)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017417)

45mpg is about average in Europe, and most of the average cars come from American manufacturers.

Anyway, does it matter to Ford which one of their cars is the no. 1 best selling car, as long as it is a Ford car. If they don't put out what people want, then Honda or Toyota will.

Re:Truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25017809)

Are you saying that most cars in Europe are Fords?

Re:Truth (4, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017477)

They're correct in that there are business reasons. For example, they don't want the bottom to fall out of the market of their other cars, because they know that this would be their top #1 seller, and most of their other cars would become a lot less popular.

The article states that the engines are made in Britain and would be costly to import. Making the engines in the Americas may not have a good enough ROI since they'd need to make a new factory when they currently don't have the resources to do it right now (losing billions during the fiscal year probably doesn't help).

Also, there's probably some kind of collusion going on. We could make a 45mpg car that has decent numbers back in the 80's, but we can't make anything comparable now? Bullshit. There's something behind the scenes.

Yes there are: tighter emission standards, higher safety requirements, America's penchant for higher performing engines. There's really no incentive for us here the USA to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. Over in Europe they have 2 things that drive the sales of smaller cars: 1) much higher fuel prices and, 2) more taxes to pay on larger engines.

Re:Truth (2, Interesting)

AncientPC (951874) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017655)

Can't they refit some of the SUV / truck lines in the US to produce the ECOnetic? I realize there are still refitting costs involved but it would readjust their production output to more closely match market demands and result in higher revenue.

Re:Truth (4, Interesting)

elynnia (815633) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017753)

Also, just to play devil's advocate,

Large, automatic transmission cars are a damn lot more comfortable than the small city-cars.

This seems to be one of the reasons that the American motor industry is so focused on hybrids: because they can make large, comfortable and lumbering cars that use as much fuel as a small one. In Europe, people have been used to small cars for a long time, but give the driver of a Crown Vic a Renault Clio and watch as they complain. Add that to the fact that the American commute can be as long as an European holiday, and it begins to seem that although diesel compacts are the most fuel-efficient technology, a car to truly be popular in the US should be a medium-large sedan with an efficient drivetrain.

Aly.

Re:Truth (3, Interesting)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017891)

Add that to the fact that the American commute can be as long as an European holiday

I thought it was the other way round - most people I've spoken to in the US never do more than five or ten miles at a time in their cars. Most are pretty surprised to hear that I often rack up a couple of hundred miles a day, and that's not uncommon up here.

Re:Truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25017897)

I hate to point this out but diesels and hybrids aren't mutually exclusive. In fact, the first thing I thought when I read this article was how efficient they could make this car if they used plug-in hybrid technology on it.

Ford are bunch of bullshitters (1)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017869)

The article states that the engines are made in Britain and would be costly to import. Making the engines in the Americas may not have a good enough ROI since they'd need to make a new factory when they currently don't have the resources to do it right now (losing billions during the fiscal year probably doesn't help).

The Japanese never had that problem and they have the added cost of tariffs because they compete "unfairly".

Cost accounting is an art at best. Just because they have numbers to "prove" something doesn't mean they're correct. I can make the most profitable product in the World unprofitable with some legal and creative accounting. Remember, accounting calculations are NOT tied to any physical laws - something my classmates with engineering degrees in B-school didn't quite grok.

Re:Truth (1)

jjm496 (1004054) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017921)

"..since they'd need to make a new factory.." Why don't they just retool the engine plant they shut down in Ontario? People get to keep working, North America gets fuel efficient vehicles.

Are diesel vehicles a problem in the states? Serious question, I'm not familiar with all the various enviro laws.

Re:Truth (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017507)

The big money makers are invested in oil. Auto makers are invested in their own industries but are also invested in oil.

But this is still somewhat presumptive thinking. We will see true evidence of conflictedness when only non-US made cars are seeing such good mileage results or only cars outside of the US (US made/designed or otherwise) will have good mileage results. I think we're seeing a good bit of that now, but it would be interesting to see some hard and undeniable comparisons showing that the same model of car in Japan or Europe is more efficient than the one in the U.S. When we can show that, then we can definitively show that something stinks in the U.S. and certain laws of transparency should be utilized in getting to the bottom of it.

Re:Truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25017509)

How about "It's a flimsy roller-skate and the minute we sold it in the US, we'd be sued out of business by a bunch of lawyers"?

Re:Truth (2, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017513)

Read the story. They believe that it would have to retail for more than the Prius, and that they wouldn't the 300K per year to make the investment in converting its north American plants to diesel engine tech. Combined with the fact that they are hemorrhaging money, they are simply too afraid of making the investment. That might just be a way of rephrasing the first point you made about it outselling the other cars, in another way. But your tin foil hat, just makes you look stupid ;)

We could make a 45 mpg gas burning only car today and it would be wildly popular. It would look a lot like the geo metro and have a top speed of 55, with a single passenger weighing less than 150 lbs. I think the main reasons why we don't are our previous infatuation with large suv's combined with the lead time needed to build a car that people now want. The story did say that a gas burning version would be available in the united states. Lets see how well that turns out.

Re:Truth (2, Insightful)

jhfry (829244) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017519)

45MPG isn't such a big deal. You could probably pull it off with little more than a lawnmower engine and a bicycle. The difficulty is achieving 45MPG+ in a package that meets safety, emissions, and financial limitations. I would imagine that the fact that it is diesel is the largest issue. Also, I imagine it is being assembled by cheaper labor, with cheaper raw materials, and lower taxes/fees. Perhaps it wouldn't be cost effective here in the US... remember, diesel averages 20 cents per gallon more here in the US. May not seem like much, but it cuts the MPG savings down a bit.

Re:Truth (2, Interesting)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017717)

Actually, 45MPG isn't a big deal if people would just drive more slowly. For example, my 2008 Jetta with a 170 HP engine is rated at 29 MPG on the highway. I can actually get around 40 MPG by just driving 55 mph. Different driving techniques can increase that further such as "pulse and glide." (eg I can get 40mpg by pulsing to 70 mph and then putting my car in neutral and coast to 60 mph and repeat). The problem is that people are both impatient and lazy. People bitch and moan about the high cost of fuel, and yet they don't do anything about driving slower.

Re:Truth (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017617)

Yeah, TFA says they won't sell it in the US because Americans don't like Diesel, because Diesel is more expensive and seen as nasty, or that the car would be more expensive than the direct concurrence because its engine is being made in Britain, but that's BS. I applaud you for recognising that without even reading TFA, you're right, it can't have to do with the fact that it would sell poorly, it must be for a more evil capitalistic conspiracyish reason.

Oh and yeah, not only they could make 45 mpg cars back in the 80s, but they could make a car that would run on water back in the 70s, in the very middle of the two oil crisis that put America on its knees. Damn these evil evil big evil corporations who wouldn't let that happen because evil evil Big Oil just wouldn't let you get rid of them like that.

Re:Truth (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017683)

they know that this would be their top #1 seller, and most of their other cars would become a lot less popular.
Most of their other small sedans are a lot cheaper, larger, faster, more comfortable and carry more cargo. Sure they use more gas, but $10,000 will buy a lot of gas even at $4 a gallon.

Re:Truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25017819)

If you RTFA, they are claiming that the cost of importing the motors from the UK would price the car out of the market in the US.

They would have to build a US factory for $350 million, and sell 350,000 motors a year to get the car price down to the point where they think they could make money on it.

They are going to sell a gasoline powered version, made in Mexico, in the US market.

Re:Truth (1)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017859)

For example, they don't want the bottom to fall out of the market of their other cars, because they know that this would be their top #1 seller, and most of their other cars would become a lot less popular.

I call bullshit. If they don't sell it, someone else will and the market will fall out of their cars anyway. Not selling this tech and taking the market makes no sense in any conceivable business strategy, even in an oligopoly.

I think diesel distribution is the real reason, it could limit the market for it in the States enough to prevent it selling enough. No such issues in Europe.

Re:Truth (1)

es330td (964170) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017865)

There's something behind the scenes.

You hit that one on the head. It's called people, specifically Americans. Americans don't want to drive little bitty cars. Most people can't afford to have an extra car for runabout driving and the econoboxes that get 40+ mpg are worthless when it comes time to put the family in a car and take a day trip away from city sprawl and we don't want to feel like the 1.8 liter hampsters under the hood are going to have a collective heart attack trying to merge onto the freeway. In Europe, the concept of getting away from it all is a relic of the past. Go to Google earth sometime and look at Germany and try to find wilderness. We have to have a car that will serve all our needs so if a car needs room for 4 plus luggage then a Fit is no longer an option.

Once upon a time, high mpg cars were made, in fact, I have one; a 1986 Honda CRX. It is big enough for two adults and minimal cargo. I can tell very quickly when I have any amount of weight in it because it feels very underpowered, very quickly and I have the Si sport model.

Cars are about tradeoff and the tradeoffs we are willing to make as consumers do not currently include high gas efficiency.

I know you want to think there is some kind of nefarious plot going on to keep mpg down but every one of the big 3 are in trouble. If one of them had a way to make a car that would sell in huge numbers you can be certain that they would do it. Wall Street is talking seriously about Chrysler going under and GM having to close or sell divisions. Detroit is doing everything they can to sell cars and not one of them would let a significant improvement go unmarketed.

Re:Truth (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25017873)

Yeah. The same thing that kept Google's hybrid car from using diesel: California emissions red tape. IIRC, CA rates the emissions by each unit of fuel burned. So a 230mpg hybrid rates the same as a 15mpg truck. Yet another reason for ONE national emissions standard.

And this is why Ford and Chevy are... (4, Insightful)

linzeal (197905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017371)

..going to be owned by the Chinese within 20 years. No one doubts how revolutionary both companies efforts are in creating viable electric and hybrid cars, in the mean time they are being laughed at by anyone who has gone car shopping in the last few months with all the sales. Even with some models being 5-10k cheaper from the American manufacturers 90% of the time you can get a Japanese model that gets 20% better gas mileage, higher resale value and better crash rating. Who still buys American vehicles these days, my grandparents got a Toyota last year and my sister has a 10 year old Chevy pickup. Everyone else I know owns German or Japanese vehicles.

Re:And this is why Ford and Chevy are... (1)

Mikeytsi (186271) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017551)

Umm,... you DO know that Toyota is a Japanese manufacturer, right?

Re:And this is why Ford and Chevy are... (2, Insightful)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017711)

we should be so fucking lucky.

What's going to happen is Congress will give their CEO buddies a handout, they'll continue with business as usual meaning the Japanese and the Chinese will make inroads, then Detroit will whine about "unfair" competition and get even more money, and you and me, the people will get it in the ass.

It won't matter who's elected in November by the way. They all work for corp America - that's where the money comes from.

Re:And this is why Ford and Chevy are... (1)

figleaf (672550) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017795)

Given that Ford has already sold its luxury brands Jaguar & Land Rover to Tata an Indian company,
who knows what you say might come true.

That's your excuse?? (4, Informative)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017377)

"The Fiesta ECOnetic runs on diesel."

Down here in the south about half of the F-250's are diesel powered. The only difference is they only get 18 mpg.

Re:That's your excuse?? (3, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017529)

The truck market and car market tend to have different buyers.

Well, it running diesel is pretty important.... (2)

joe_cot (1011355) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017389)

The main one: The Fiesta ECOnetic runs on diesel.

Well, that's a big, big reason. Why would I buy a diesel car that has better mpg if diesel fuel now costs a dollar and a half more than gasoline (more in the winter, when they start refining more heating oil)?

Re:Well, it running diesel is pretty important.... (1)

anonicon (215837) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017475)

Where do you live? The BP station 1/2 a mile from where I live (Northern Kentucky) sells diesel for $4.079/gallon, regular gas is $3.899. That's about a 5% difference.

Re:Well, it running diesel is pretty important.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25017487)

Where the hell do you live that there is that much of a discrepancy in the price? I've never seen it get much past 20%. And even at that the cost per mile of fuel makes it cheaper than just about everything else.

Re:Well, it running diesel is pretty important.... (1)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017535)

Keep in mind that not everyone is SOLELY motivated by their wallets. Some of us want more fuel efficient cars to lessen our dependence on foreign oil.

A 65mpg car is a nice step in that direction regardless of whether I have to pay 10 cents more per gallon. That turns out to be like $1.50 more.

Re:Well, it running diesel is pretty important.... (1)

Cheetor5923 (1363037) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017543)

That would explain it then, Deisel is much cheaper than petrol is most places in the world (depending on road taxes incorperated into price)

Re:Well, it running diesel is pretty important.... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017577)

Gotta save that diesel for the F350s.

Diesel is diesel, heating oil is heating oil and everyone's production economics is pretty much the same. So why is our fuel pricing structure so screwed up while the rest of the world can drive economical cars? Another question for the candidates.

Re:Well, it running diesel is pretty important.... (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017587)

Because diesel has more energy per weight than gasoline so cars with diesel engines tent to get around 30% miles out of a gallon versus their gasoline equivalent. As a result, despite diesel being more expensive, you'll still do better in the long run. BTW, where I am on the west coast, diesel is about $4.20/gallon vs. 87 octane gasoline at $3.79. If you have a diesel vehicle, you're still out ahead.

Re:Well, it running diesel is pretty important.... (2, Insightful)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017835)

Well, that's a big, big reason. Why would I buy a diesel car that has better mpg if diesel fuel now costs a dollar and a half more than gasoline (more in the winter, when they start refining more heating oil)?

Where's your math on this? Still a lot cheaper than a gas car only getting 22mpg. Even if you had a car that got over 30mpg it's still cheaper. Why wouldn't you?

Re:Well, it running diesel is pretty important.... (2, Informative)

Panaflex (13191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017849)

Uhm... but the difference between 30 mpg and 50 mpg easily makes up the difference in fuel costs... I owned a VM tdi and easily got 50 mpg on the highway.

Out of a thousand miles, you'd buy 20 gallons versus 33 gallons (assuming 30 mpg gas and 50 mpg diesel). The price difference (even using the inaccurate figure of $1.50 more per gallon means you save about $10 dollars. For a more reasonable 5% difference in price, means you save about $35 per 1000 miles total.

Anyway, I'm sure you can find plenty situations in which the diesel looses... but for the average consumer a diesel car will be cheaper to operate... it certainly was in my case.

Now someone needs to sell a diesel minivan... parents are the most cost-conscience group I know.

Old News (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25017397)

Didn't I see this almost two weeks ago on digg? /. needs to stop posting way old news.

"Astonishing"? Only in the USA (2, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017407)

I doubt that many people in Europe will be astonished by a diesel that will do 65MPG. Even if those gallons are US gallons (approx 5/6 of an Imperial gallon), it's still not much greater than small diesel cars have achieved for a long time.

Yer Right (3, Informative)

atari2600 (545988) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017447)

Yep the MINI Cooper Diesel is rated at 72mpg and from the forum posts I've read gets between 56 and 60 mpg. Keep in mind that this Ford will get less than the factory rated 65mpg. Yes, astonishing for the US but not so for Europe. Europeans have far more options on the fuel efficient spectrum that Americans do.

Re:Yer Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25017641)

unfortunately though, we pay through the nose for "gas".

Re:Yer Right (3, Interesting)

Meph0 (1024431) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017749)

Exactly, we Europeans have always had an incentive to get ourselves more fuel efficient cars, because our gas was always expensive. Dutch gas is, converted, about 9$/gallon at the moment. Now the USA's prices are going up (still cheap though), suddenly Americans are interested in and astonished by what the rest of the world considers normal. Too bad it took so long, but good to see none the less.

Re:Yer Right (1)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017901)

Ours in the UK is similar (to the US gallon). Over 50% of that price is various taxes.

Re:"Astonishing"? Only in the USA (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017595)

My Toyota Aygo diesel does 69mpg. Since I bought it, just over a year ago, Mini and Volkswagen have both released cars that do better mpgs than that. So Ford's offering isn't spectacular, but it is what they need to do to keep up with the competition.

Bad business... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25017413)

if the ECOnetic doesn't meet DOT safety guidelines.

Don't Worry: +1, PatRIOTic (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25017427)

Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors will be OUT of business by November 2009. China made a call to The White Bunker and told President-VICE Cheney to get his fat ass out of Iraq by Jan. 2009 OR they would sell ALL U.S. treasury bonds held by China.

Put that in your in crack pipe Sarah Palin and INHALE.
Bitch.

Auto industry asking for loans (2, Insightful)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017431)

In other news, the auto industry is asking for loans [cnn.com] , which some classify as a bail out. This is mostly because no one is buying SUVs and other low-mpg vehicles.

The irony is delicious.

This makes no sense (1)

mattb112885 (1122739) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017443)

It gets about 2x the fuel economy of a relatively efficient gasoline vehicle and diesel only costs about $1 more per gallon (which is about 4/3 as much as regular)... idunno how many people here are capable of such reasoning though. Also, 65 is a lot more than 46 [fueleconomy.gov] gotten with the (2009 model of the) Prius, which may make the extra 2,000 worthwhile...

And this is why Ford is going bankrupt (4, Insightful)

bogjobber (880402) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017523)

They are not willing to take any chances, even when their backs are up against the wall. They were completely dependent on gas guzzling behemoths like the F150 and their various SUV's. Yet when the opportunity comes up to do something unique and become a market leader, they are too risk averse to do it.

They could import these cars, selling them in relatively small quantities for a small profit, and then later do things to bring the costs down. Move the engine manufacturing to the US/Mexico. Use that famous lobbying ability that kept SUV's viable to reduce diesel taxes.

The Japanese companies didn't become as successful as they are overnight. Ford will not be able to compete with them until they take a long-term approach. Instead of burning through cash trying to maintain their current business model, how about investing that in new facilities that will create the next generation of cars. Focusing only on quarterly reports is what got them into this mess in the first place.

Re:And this is why Ford is going bankrupt (1)

jhfry (829244) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017783)

"Focusing only on quarterly reports is what got them into this mess in the first place."

That is one of the most insightful comments I have seen on /. in a long time... you should have just written that.

Our greatest problem is that our stock market has had two great positive turns which made investors demand high gains from even (traditionally) slow gaining and low risk stocks. As such, the big 3 had to constantly spend money and make huge profits to satisfy their investors.

I would bet that within the big 3, some sensible person was chanting "shouldn't we invest in the future? This can't last forever". Unfortunately, had Ford said 3 years ago that they were switching to smaller, more efficient, and LOWER PROFIT vehicles, their stock would have looked this bad 2.9 years ago.

It's easy to blame the automakers, but the blame really lies with the investors and their failure to accept that some stocks just aren't made to get rich quick.

Large companies are not agile, they take a long time to adapt to a changing marketplace and/or economy. However, they usually have the resources to make the change, no matter how slow. In this case, they simply don't have the resources to recover because they spent them all to satisfy investors when the getting was good.

Ford never puts its "better ideas" into production (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017895)

... until GM does it first.

This has been the pattern for decades: Ford invents, then sits on it. Then another company - usually GM but sometimes Chrysler, Toyota, etc. - comes out with the same thing and Ford plays catch-up.

The reason is 30 years old (5, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017559)

The main one: The Fiesta ECOnetic runs on diesel.

Some people may remember that in the 70s and 80s, the big three were making several diesel-powered sedans for the American market. Some of these vehicles are still operating, because the diesel engines have very good longevity.

However, it is the negative publicity that those old diesels attained that keeps diesel relegated so low in the US. Those cars in the 70s and 80s made terrible mileage (they were most if not all 8cyl diesels). They spewed noxious exhaust enough to make coal power plants look clean. And they accelerated like Mack trucks propelled by hamsters.

Unfortunately, many people aren't aware of the progress that diesel engines have made in the past 30 years. And it would seem some of those uninformed people are working for the big 3 automakers.

Re:The reason is 30 years old (1)

Panaflex (13191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017925)

That's because most of the auto companies simply tacked on diesel components to an existing gas engine back in the day.

Pathetic compression ratios doomed these engines, in addition to the poor quality of the components utilized.

probably the UAW (2, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017593)

the UAW has been running the big 5 auto makers in to the ground by feigning to fight for better wages and benefits for workers years only to line their own pockets at the same time the NTSC and DOT regulating the hell out of the auto makers too thus upping the cost of manufacturing and sticker price of automobiles it is no wonder a new car or pickup costs almost as buying a house and to do what with it?, wear it out and sell it for pennies on the dollar in 10 years only to do it all over again so not many people can get ahead with expensive auto payments and full coverage insurance, i learned my lesson once in the 1980s and i will NEVER buy a new automobile ever again...

i remember seeing the title of my dad's 1966 chevy impala and it was only 2 grand when it was brand spanking new, look what a new car costs nowadays even with inflation it still should be less than 8 or 10 for a new car, but NoOo a new car is somewhere in the 20 to 30 grand range (ridiculous)! even with financing & reasonable interest rates it is just gawd awful expensive...

not a troll, just a rant with insight (IMO)

Re:probably the UAW (5, Insightful)

plopez (54068) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017803)

Check this out:

http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/webfeatures_snapshots_20060621 [epi.org]

CEO's make 262 times what a worker makes, up from 24 times in 1966. Where's the money going? Not into plant and equipment. Check this guy out:
http://money.cnn.com/2007/04/05/news/companies/ford_execpay/ [cnn.com]

I wish I could make that sort of money for destroying a company.

Why shouldn't the workers get a piece of the pie too? After all, isn't that the American dream?

BTW, who decides what cars to build? Who decides how to market them? Who decided to stick with SUVs for far too long? Who decided to kill the electric car? Who fought off increasing CAFE standards? Management.

I'm not saying Unions were innocent little angels, but blaming them for everything is wrong. Personally I feel that far too long we have a had a confrontational relationship between management and labor. They both need to realize they need each other and that they both have the same goal: to make money.

How is this news in the states? (1)

Azaril (1046456) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017601)

I realise its probably a different size car( i didnt RTFA) but the toyota yaris diesel does over 100 mpg, in 1 1.4l engine. Its not a bad size for a small car either :

http://www.toyota-europe.com/cars/new_cars/yaris/fullspecs.aspx [toyota-europe.com]

What about the VW Golf? (1)

sirket (60694) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017611)

Volkswagen has been making a diesel Golf that gets 60+ miles per gallon for several years now. The only "news" here is that the European division of Ford isn't as incompetent as their American division.

Re:What about the VW Golf? (5, Interesting)

PhilipPeake (711883) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017839)

When I was living in France on of our neighbors did a house swap with a family in Michigan. The guy worked for Ford. He was AMAZED at the EU Fords. He knew that they were supposedly superior to the US versions, but always assumed that the supposed difference was mostly hype to try to convince the US workers to work harder.

Until he drove one around.

65 MPG? (3, Informative)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017631)

That's ok, but pretty much the norm these days for a small diesel car. The Ibiza Ecomotive does 74 mpg.

Good... one less underpowered model on US roads (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25017669)

Just what we need, more grossly underpowered "eco" fad cars that are unable to accelerate to highway speeds causing bottlenecks and traffic jams.

We already had diesel cars. Anyone older than 20 can remember the lovely turbo diesels from Mercedes which forced everyone behind them to hold their breath, make kamikazi passes in lanes around them, or run their air conditioners on recirculate because of their foul stench. The US is congested enough. Having congestion with smelly cancer-causing diesel exhaust? No thanks.

Fiesta! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25017699)

No way, it's a Fiesta! I bet most Americans have never heard of these cars, but they're all over British roads.

If you want to impress your British mates, their nickname is: 'Fester' or if you know the people well: 'Uncle Fester, Child Molester'.

Yes, the British do have sick minds.

After seeing the picture of the car ... (2, Funny)

SengirV (203400) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017751)

... One reason they can't sell them in the US is because they put the steering wheel on the wrong side - Idiots.

* It's an F'n joke.

Quick summary (5, Informative)

steveha (103154) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017757)

If you can't be bothered to RTFA, please read this.

Ford makes the engines in Britain. The British pound is high compared to the dollar, so the cars would cost more than a Prius; their best case is that a diesel tax credit might make the car cost only slightly more than a Prius. Their market research indicates that Americans prefer a hybrid gasoline car (such as a Prius) to a diesel, so they don't think the car would sell at the price they would have to charge. It doesn't help that diesel is taxed more than gasoline and thus costs $0.40 to $1.00 more per gallon. Ford could reduce the cost if they start building the diesel engines in Mexico, but they will lose money unless they can sell at least 350,000 diesel engines per year; given their bleak financials they are reluctant to take that risk right now.

Note that VW is selling Jettas with diesel engines, and several other auto makers are introducing diesel models. If American consumers go for these new diesels, Ford may reconsider their decision.

steveha

US needs clean diesel fuel (1)

Chuck_McDevitt (665265) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017779)

Diesel fuel in the USA is not as clean as in Europe, and the super-high efficiency diesel engines need the cleaner fuel.

"runs on diesel" (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017787)

And this is a reason not to sell it here? Lots of cars run diesel. Most eery large truck does. Its available everywhere.

What are they thinking?

Better rename it here in the us (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017805)

Fiesta would cause people with a memory of the 80's to run in the other direction.

Speed Humps (2, Funny)

aphelion_rock (575206) | more than 5 years ago | (#25017879)

I well imaging that a Fiesta could be run over by a Hummer or a F250 and it be mistaken for a speed hump.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>