Business Week – September 4, 2008:

If ever there was a car made for the times, this would seem to be it: a sporty subcompact that seats five, offers a navigation system, and gets a whopping 65 miles to the gallon. Oh yes, and the car is made by Ford Motor (F), known widely for lumbering gas hogs.

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.

Yet while half of all cars sold in Europe last year ran on diesel, the U.S. market remains relatively unfriendly to the fuel. Taxes aimed at commercial trucks mean diesel costs anywhere from 40 cents to $1 more per gallon than gasoline. Add to this the success of the Toyota Prius, and you can see why only 3% of cars in the U.S. use diesel. “Americans see hybrids as the darling,” says Global Insight auto analyst Philip Gott, “and diesel as old-tech.”

None of this is stopping European and Japanese automakers, which are betting they can jump-start the U.S. market with new diesel models.




  1. off_base says:

    The reason these cars are not sold in the US is not only because of the taxes on diesel fuel. The main reason is that they are illegal. They do not pass the US emissions tests. I would gladly purchase the 65 mpg ford.

    • Robert pope says:

      We should be driving turbine powered hybrid cars. The turbine will run almost any thing that burns on open air. It is twice as efficient as the gasoline engine. More efficient than the diesel engine. Low in polutants, light in weight.
      Problem with the turbine they spin at very high rpm’s so if you have a battery system driving the car. You could use the turbine (turning at any speed) to generate required electricity to keep the battery topped off. Solves the speed rpm’s problem. Plus you can lower the battery size and weight. Car weight would drop because the engine would save 400 pounds or more over piston engine used now. Car companies get off your duff, lets go this has been there all the time. Beat toyota at their own game that is the prius. I know this will work do I have to make it myself?? The time is right do it now be first. I can make it myself

  2. rob says:

    I have been looking for a car exactly like this diesel auto. Bring it I will buy it. If it has a/c because texas gets really hot folks. :)