Automakers scramble to offer diesels in light-duty trucks

Auto Week:

Diesels are common in domestic brands’ heavy-duty pickups. But fuel economy concerns and competitive pressures are prompting automakers to put them in light-duty trucks as well…

All Detroit 3 automakers offer diesels in their heavy-duty trucks. The engines are popular and profitable.

About 40 percent of the 796,000 Ford F-series trucks sold in the United States last year were diesel-powered. Diesels are optional in Ford’s F-250 and larger trucks….

Sales of GM’s heavy-duty Silverado and Sierra diesels are capped at about 200,000 units annually because of production constraints at the Moraine, Ohio, plant. Dodge sold about 150,000 heavy-duty Ram pickups in 2006 with Cummins-built diesel engines.

A diesel costs a consumer an average of $6,660 more than a comparable gasoline engine. But after 4½ years of ownership, a diesel truck is worth $4,700 more than a gasoline-powered truck, according to a study by the Martec Group, a marketing and consulting firm.

Also after 4½ years, the diesel owner has spent about $4,200 less on fuel than the gasoline engine owner, Martec says. Last week the average price of a gallon of diesel fuel was $2.91, 7 cents less than for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.

Diesel truck sales generate at least $1 billion in additional profits to the Detroit 3, Martec says.

2 responses to “Automakers scramble to offer diesels in light-duty trucks

  1. They have the engines, just not in the US. Take a look at Ford in the UK-
    Why can’t that come here? Emissions, not a problem anymore. Just a matter of time before Toyota brings them in. The make an excellent diesel engine.

  2. $6.6K more than a gas truck. Wow! MB is saying their 50 state GL will cost $1.5K more than the gas model.

    Methinks Detroit has been hustling the truck buying public for years about the cost of diesel engines, and then conning them into buying overpowered, low efficiency diesel engines.

    Honda, Nissan, and Toyota will put an end to the lack of smart diesel technology in pickups by 2009 and Detroit will be selling far fewer of their overpowered, unreliable, inefficient diesels.

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