Ford Promises More Hybrids In (wait for it . . . ) 2007!!
NEW YORK -- "Even before its first gas-electric hybrid is sold, Ford Motor Co. plans to build on the momentum it hopes to gain as the first domestic automaker to sell the fuel-efficient vehicles by offering the technology on an upcoming Mercury model.
The 2007 Mercury Mariner would be Ford's third gas-and-electric powered vehicle, and the first outside the Ford brand.
Ford is expected to make the announcement today at the New York International Auto Show, where chairman and CEO Bill Ford and other executives are touting Ford's hybrid technology as gas prices hit record highs and interest rises in alternatives to gas-guzzling sport-utilities. A hybrid Ford Escape compact SUV is to launch late this summer.
Ford is also eager to refute the notion that it is simply buying hybrid technology from Toyota. Yes, Ford pays royalties on Toyota patents. But those are just fees for using patents on ideas, such as driving backward in a hybrid, Ford spokespeople say. "We will continue to develop all of our hybrid in-house, including core research," Jim Padilla, Fords executive vice president in charge of North and South America, said in a statement."
3. I think Toyota plans to release hybrid versions of ALL their vehicles...
... within that same time frame.
Rather than spend money on R&D of hybrid technologies, US auto makers predictably decided to spend it on lobbyists to fight any upgrade in efficiency standards. The end result will be, once again, US auto makers being displaced by Japanese firms who correctly recognized the expanding market niche and capitalized on it.
If anything, the actions of US automakers through this entire process indicate how our current capitalist system, with active and passive assistance from the Federal Government, actually reinforces BAD behaviors while penalizing good ones and foresight as being "bad for market share".
7. yes, even so, but bill ford not been in charge that long
I'm not happy with management but on the other hand Bill Ford does not accept a salary, at least partly because, as he put it regarding the stock performance in 2001, "performance is unacceptable." His compensation package is based on stock options. I mean, it's easy for him to do compared to you or I, for I'm sure he has inherited untold millions, but most CEOs are happy to take salaries of millions of dollars a year to run a company into the ground. So I'm not totally going to crap on his head just yet. He's trying more than most of his class would.
Ford Motor Company's problems are long-standing and go back to the 1970s but they have really been an issue in the 21st century. This used to be a widows and orphans stock because of the dividends -- that's why I have it -- but the dividends had to be cut in the wake of 9-11. To a large extent, selling cars is no longer a profitable business; you have to be able to sell the insurance and financing along with to make a profit. The "zero percent financing" wars were extremely hurtful -- the company is turning out tons of product and churning its wheels yet not making any profit.
I assure you this stockholder has no numbered accounts in the Cayman's. If only!
A big mess, bigger than just bad management although poor management over the decades certainly has not helped.
9. Ford cannot make a profit selling cars because their cars suck.
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 10:24 PM by NNadir
I owned a 1993 Mercury Sable with a 3.2 liter engine. As soon as the warranty expired, everything broke, this in an era when the slogan was "Quality is job #1." (Note to George Bush: Misrepresentation has a way of biting you in the ass.) Ford treated my complaints with contempt. The car was junked at 80,000 miles and I felt like an ass for my brief "patriotic" urge to "Buy American."
I frequently rent cars because of my line of work, and basically I have the sense that Americans don't know shit about how to build a car. I once had the rather dubious misfortune of being "upgraded" to an Expedition. What a horrible piece of crap that thing is. Besides the embarrassment of being behind the wheel of such a blatant appeal to the huge market for penis extenders, it works and feels like tuxedo on a surf board.
Now I have a Honda Accord and a Honda Civic (with 132,000 miles on it and no sign of trouble.) If I can afford a new car again, it will be either a Prius or a hybrid Civic. Ford and GM and Chrysler-Benz have completely missed the boat, with their managment making singularly ridiculous comments along the way. If Ford is looking for a scapegoat for its poor performance, the mirror would be a good place to start.
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