VM Motori Workers Fear For Jobs on EPA EcoDiesel Charge
Negative News Could Affect Demand for Engine in U.S.
Just this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) charged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles of failing to disclose “auxiliary emissions control devices” on more than 100,000 3.0L EcoDiesel V-6 engines installed in Ram 1500 trucks and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs. Although the powertrain option has been reasonably popular in the two models, it has not been a runaway success to the extent Ford’s EcoBoost turbo GDI engines in the F-150 trucks and other models. The VM Motori plant in Ferrara, Italy, which produces the EcoDiesel V-6 engines, has had production throttled before on slackening demand, and many workers fear the negative publicity from the EPA’s accusations could impact demand more in the U.S. and ultimately lead to layoffs, according to a Reuters report.
The Volkswagen TDI scandal caused some peripheral damage among other diesel models sold in the U.S., and VM Motori put some of its employees on temporary layoff following decreased diesel demand following the scandal. Despite the negative publicity surrounding diesels, General Motors, Ford, and Mazda have all publicly committed to bringing new diesel models to market within the next few years. Among internal combustion engines, diesels still have an efficiency advantage over gasoline engines, although that gap has narrowed in recent years with advancements in fuel delivery systems and an increased emphasis on thermal efficiency in gasoline engines, especially by Toyota.