Ford picks Britain to build diesel engines for best-selling US pickups

 
Oliver Gill
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Ford had its best year of pickup sales in 2017 for 12 years (Source: Getty)

Ford is to build thousands of new diesel engines in the UK, as the US car giant prepares a non-petrol alternative for its iconic pickups across the pond.

A diesel version of Ford’s best-selling F-150 truck is to go on sale in the US this spring, the firm announced today.

Ford is hoping to gain a marketing edge in the popular pickup market, as rivals also explore more efficient engines.

The Detroit-headquartered firm expects the diesel trucks to achieve 30 miles per gallon. The vehicle will come with a price tag between $2,400 and $4,000 more than its petrol alternative.

With petrol prices stabilising in the recent months in the US, pickup sales have surged. In 2017 Ford sold 896,764 F-series trucks, its biggest year since 2005.

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Production of the non-petrol alternative will be increased with an aim that around five per cent of the F-150 range will be diesel.

“We’re confident we’ll get there,” Ford vice-president of powertrain engineering David Filipe said in a media briefing ahead of the official launch announcement.

Rival Fiat Chrysler began offering a diesel version of its pickups in 2013. But diesel engines remain under significant scrutiny in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions-cheating scandal. Last year US authorities charged that Fiat Chrysler used software to cheat emissions tests covering 104,000 of its Ram models.

Ford said it was confident its diesel engines would comply with emissions standards.

Read more: Fiat Chrysler boss denies working on "any big deal"

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