According to AutoWeek, Automotive News has reported that Ford will introduce North America's first light-duty diesel truck in either 2008 or 2009. The confirmation came from Ford's former vice-president of manufacturing for the Americas, Dave Szczupak,who retired last week.

According to the former executive, the F-150 is slated to get a cleaner version of the 3.6 liter V-8 diesel engine used in the European model Range Rover that was developed in conjunction with PSA Peugeot Citroen. The British-market SUV generates 267 horses and 472 lb-ft of torque while sipping fuel at a rate of just 25 mpg.

Szczupak said that two major tasks lie ahead for Ford diesel engineers to get the engine U.S.-certified. First of all, components must be redesigned to generate a cleaner combustion inside the cylinder. Secondly, the diesel team must choose an effective yet affordable emissions system whether it include a lean NOx trap or urea injection.

Other automakers are progressing with efforts to enter the light-duty diesel truck segment, however, none are situated as well as Ford to introduce the first vehicle. Toyota and Nissan are working to get diesel engines inside their Tundra and Titan, respectively, however, neither company has announced a deal with an engine supplier. As for the domestics, 2010 seems to be the magic year. Dodge is expected to receive V-6 and V-8 diesel engines from Cummins at that time while GM announced it would produce a small V-8 diesel truck engine just after.

[Source: Automotive News via AutoWeek]