Ford CEO: Light Trucks Are Toast

John Horner
by John Horner
ford ceo light trucks are toast

In a video interview with USA Today. Ford CEO Alan Mulally admits that American consumers' switch to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles is permanent. Despite talking-up the new F150's chances of success, Big Al reckons the move from light trucks is "not a temporary shunning of big SUVs while they wait for record fuel prices to drop." Which Mulally says ain't gonna happen, anyway. "It's not like we have a shortage of oil, but recovering what's left under the earth has become very expensive, ensuring continuing high prices." When asked for a new date for The Blue Oval's scheduled return to profitability– previously set at 2009– the former Boeing exec would only say it's delayed by a weak economy and the shift from "high value trucks" to smaller cars. The video clips are interesting to watch, and much less painful than anything from Lutz or Wagoneer. But the spin doesn't stop here. Asked about Volvo, Mulally claimed the ailing Swedish brand isn't for sale. Last April, Mulally told the world Jaguar wasn't for sale. That deal went down yesterday.

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  • Menno Menno on Jun 03, 2008

    Hey Mr. M - how about building this at Wayne, instead of pickemup trucks? Just bite the bullet and add it to the Ford line as the Mondeo. Not forgetting the station wagon. Utilize the engines as in the Focus with the engine as used in the Mazda 6 (2.3 litre) optional. Then sell it ALONGSIDE the Fusion as a slightly more "eco" (as in "economical" and "ecological") line. Maybe even simply call it the Ford Mondeo Green Line. NO badge engineered Mercury or Lincoln versions, please!

  • Carveman Carveman on Jun 03, 2008

    US auto executives have no shame, no clue, and no vision. Gas is at $4.50 a gallon and climbing. Chrysler is grinning about it's 4000 lb automatic V8 14 mpg "sports car". Ford touts a bloated 4000 lb rigid axled gas guzzling antique and GM the upcoming scale squashing inefficient Camaro and the battery less Dolt. But all is not lost at GM they are "thinking" about selling the Hummer. I bet Honda Toyota VW Nissan are lining up for that opportunity. Does anyone in their executive suites understand strategic planning and ongoing SWOT analysis. (Strength Weakness Opportunity & Threat) Watching these companies is very entertaining and would be rolling on the floor laughing funny. But these clowns and their friends at the UAW have all but killed the state of Michigan with their ongoing blind incompetence and brutal stupidity.

  • Jamie1 (of Ford) Jamie1 (of Ford) on Jun 03, 2008

    Caveman, Clearly you are a man who should be running all 3 of the big 3 Detroit companies with your amazing abilities. After all, rising gas prices can have been no surprise to you with your perspicacity (indeed you must be a wealthy man as you invested all your money in Shell and BP last year as you knew EXACTLY what was going to happen to gas prices this year and kept the information to yourself). You know all there is to know about product development cycles, time to market equations, vehicle adaptation rules, inventory management, production plant utilisation rates, union negotiations and of course, all elements of sales and marketing. As such, I recommend that you place yourself at the disposal of Ford, GM and Chrysler - you are just the man this industry needs to take us forwards. Thank you for your insight.

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Jun 03, 2008

    Surely the automakers have good crystal balls to tell them what the economics of America (and the world) will be 10-15 years down the road? When high fuel prices come into focus why didn't they quietly begin to tool up for some 25+ mpg vehicles and doll up their existing gas sippers? Heck they could have said - hey, look we think you might be interested in some of our more frugal offerings b/c prices will likely go up - no guarantee but it looks that way. Then they might be perceieved as the customer's friend rather than a corporate con-man trying to get as many customer dollars as possible. That's something I see in the vintage magazine ads I have - advertising that emphasizes wise choices and careful shopping.