Will Ford be Extinct Before the Polar Bears


Ford has for many years produced fairly good, comfortable, economical cars, that is, unless you live in the car giant’s home country. Just a quick look on Ford’s website in the U.S. backs this theory up. Take a look at their range of cars for home consumption and you will see that fuel consumption, a major feature for European cars, seems to be no more than an afterthought for their domestic market. Indeed, they now have a handy tool that allows you to view their cars by the “gas consumption”. Great you may be thinking, we’re moving in the right direction. However, on closer inspection, their idea of an economical car is one that can achieve thirty five miles per gallon. Thirty five? Yes, thirty five miles per gallon. WOW, great achievement, that should help the Polar Bears cling on to their melting ice caps for another couple of years, which makes you wonder, unless Ford and to an extent the greater American public change their ways, will the Polar Bears actually outlast Ford.

Diesel technology, almost ignored in the U.S., has moved on in leaps and bounds in the European and Japanese markets. The results of these strides forward can be seen in the plethora of vehicles that can now achieve 70 + miles per gallon. Double the economy of the domestic offerings from Ford. OK, these may be small city cars, but even the Mondeo, a stalwart for ford in Europe, can now achieve more than fifty miles per gallon on the combined cycle. Why oh why are these cars not available in Ford’s domestic marketplace? Look at Ford’s UK website and they are proud to announce their “widest range ever of low Co2 vehicles”, take a look at the U.S. site and emissions and economy seem to be an embarrassment to them. Are the things we need from a vehicle that different between the USA and Europe?

But then again, why blame Ford? Surely Ford design and build cars to suit their markets. So is it the American consumer that needs to change? This is maybe the time that the US government can add caveats to any monies given to the big three, regulating the automakers to force them to manufacture global products. Japanese and German car makers may make the odd car that suits an individual market, but overall, their cars are designed to sell globally. Thirty years ago British Leyland had a similar philosophy to America’s big three. Thirty years on and British Leyland is just a hazy memory to most. Unless Ford and to a great extent, the American public change their habits, the American auto industry may very well be on the verge of extinction.

The Ka, the Fiesta, the Mondeo, all good cars produced for the European market that don’t appear on the other side of the pond. This is economic madness. The cost of developing a new model runs into billions of dollars, yet Ford still offers a different line up for both markets. Wake up, smell the coffee, or alternatively keep going cap in hand to your government for economic bailouts that don’t address the root cause of the problem. Twenty five billion dollars will not solve the big three’s problems, it will just prolong their deaths. Long enough to outlast the polar bears? Only time will tell.


Source by Dave Foord