Ford CEO Alan Mulally Sings the PR Electric
Appearing in front of the Wall Street Journal’s typographically-challenged ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara, California (where else), Ford CEO Alan Mulally predicted that electric vehicles will represent a “major portion” of FoMoCo’s lineup by 2019. OK, maybe 2021. I know what you’re thinking: big NSFWing deal. GM was predicting flying cars for its next model year less than a year ago. And Big Al will be sucking down Stoli martinis in Aruba by then. So what about, you know, now? How can The Blue Oval Boyz warm-up the AGW crowd (so to speak)? Automotive News provides the answer, such as it is. “Mulally said Ford was committed to shifting away from its recent reliance on light trucks for 60 percent or more of its sales so that more fuel-efficient passenger cars dominate. ‘We can now make cars in the United States and we can do it profitably.'” Question: does the United States include Mexico?
There was some French study that Sarko, with ties to electric car or battery people, tried to suppress, that said EVs were not going to be significant even as far out as 2030. (Did I read about that here?)
The new Taurus and MKS will be built in Chicago. All variants of the next Focus sold in the U.S. should be built in the U.S. The Mustang is built in the U.S. C-platform vehicles like the Escape and Mariner and the coming C-Max will all be built in the U.S. CD overrun, should the Fusion/Milan/MKZ grow more popular in North and South America, will be in the U.S. Mexico is ideal for some production because of trade barriers between South America and the U.S. that don't exist with Mexico - that's another reason why the Fiesta and Fusion can never be built completely stateside. Canada has similar low trade barriers, which is why the Edge can never be completely produce stateside. You can thank our farmers.
Forget Mexico and Canuckistan, if this prediction of electric-world by 2019 is true, Bolivia's dead. Between the coca production and their vast lithium deposits, soon there will be a couple Gringo divisiones blindadas keeping the locals on the shovels. Let freedom ring!
I'm not so sure that Ford will be the one leading us into the electric future. With Chrysler and GM in a shambles, it's easy to think that Ford is in a lot better shape. True, Ford should survive -- in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king. But Ford remains a very troubled company. A year ago some people, myself included, thought that Ford had saddled itself with so much debt that GM was much stronger. I have been proven wrong on that bet. Through smarts or dumb luck, Mullaly won this round. But can Mullaly last through the end of the fight? I'm hedging my bets on that one.