Denise McCluggage has been writing about the auto industry for a long time. She's known most of the people in the business over the last several decades and she has earned a lot of respect for her opinions. In her latest column in AutoWeek, McCluggage lays into Ford's
president of the Americas Mark Fields on the subject of diesels
. While the big three German automakers are diving headlong into clean diesel technology for the US market and even Honda
is bringing its first diesels here in 2009, Ford is sitting back and waiting. Actually the Dearborn brand is actively shying away from diesel. McCluggage opens her article by calling Fields a "wuss" for relying solely on what customer surveys say about diesel.
The problem is focus groups are notoriously unreliable when people are asked about things they know nothing about, especially when it comes to cars and design
. Americans that have an opinion on diesel typically have a bad one because of their exposure to noisy, smoky trucks. In my own experience whenever people are exposed to modern diesels they are shocked at how quiet, clean and powerful they are. McCluggage calls on Ford to show some cajones and bring diesel cars
like the Fiesta
to the US market. I concur and say the same to GM
. Oh the hat that she was wearing at the start of the Audi
Mileage Marathon? It says "Torque and Range" referring to diesel engines.