Ford has launched a drive for its dealership network to promote used diesel vehicles following rocketing demand for new diesel models from fleets.
The manufacturer is focusing on a diesel sales training programme to protect the residual value of its diesel models when they are defleeted after their traditional three-year fleet lifespan.
Residual value experts have warned that soaring demand for diesel among fleets preparing for the carbon dioxide-based company car tax system launched next year will lead to a flood of used diesel models entering the market.
The risk of oversupply means that prices for diesels could plummet, creating a new residual value crisis for manufacturers, leasing companies and fleets.
Mike Wear, Ford's director of fleet operations, said: "We have seen a dramatic uptake of diesel. It is similar to the 1990s when there was also concern that the used car market could not absorb that level of diesel models.
"We have an enormous job to do to train our franchise dealers through our training college in Loughborough to show used car buyers what diesel can do." If the current boom in diesel sales continues, Cap Network has forecast that there will be an additional 150,000 ex-fleet diesel cars hitting the used car market by 2005. (November 15, 2001)