First it was GM, now Ford is following suit. Ford revealed today that a planned diesel option for the F-150 has been put on hold while Ford determines the best time to launch it. Ford cited cheap gas prices as a primary factor in the decision.

"We're still looking at the appropriate time to do that," Ford's President of the Americas Mark Fields told Automotive News. "We've put it on the back burner for right now."

Ford had originally planned to offer a 4.4-liter V-8 diesel engine in the F-150 starting next year, which reportedly offered more power and torque and 20% fuel savings over the gasoline-powered 5.4-liter V-8 currently offered. Now that the price of gas has slid to the $2-per-gallon range, Ford has delayed the launch of the diesel F-150 until the company determines that market conditions are right for it. An anonymous source told Automotives News that the diesel has been officially pushed back to 2013 and could be cancelled outright if gas prices don't rise above diesel prices for a substantial amount of time.

With diesel versions of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Dodge Ram 1500 also on hold, Ford had a chance to beat the other two to the market, but has apparently decided not to take advantage of the opportunity. For now, truck buyers looking for oil burners will have to continue to pony up the extra scratch for 2500/250 versions of the trucks.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)