Fleet News

Ford chief puts heat on Brown over diesel

PRESSURE for Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown to rethink Britain's anti-diesel taxation policy has increased after Ford president and chief executive Jac Nasser backed diesel as the clean fuel of the future. He announced Ford's total commitment to diesel as he estimated that by 2005, 40% of vehicles sold in Europe would be powered by the fuel, setting the firm on a collision course with British Government's attitude.

At the launch of an extended partnership with PSA Peugeot/Citroen to plough millions of pounds into developing diesel, Nasser branded it as 'the best opportunity we have to realise the commitment which have been made on clean air'. But he said growth would only come with the support of Governments creating the right environment for growth in diesel engine technology.

Speaking from Detroit, Nasser said: 'Diesel is clearly capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, particularly with the common-rail technology which will be improved in the future.' And although Ford is one of several major manufacturers pouring millions of pounds into fuel cell technology, Nasser pointed out that cleaner diesel engines could bring results immediately, without major changes to the refuelling infrastructure.

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