By on June 1, 2010

Ford learns once again that partners can hurt as much as they help. Hat Tip: Twitter’s @SexCigarsBooze [via TTAC’s own @DYCWTC]

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44 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Shades Of Firestone Edition...”


  • avatar
    Cammy Corrigan

    I thought BP leased the rig from Transocean and Transocean owned and ran the rig?

    Why aren’t people coming down heavy on them?

    • 0 avatar
      stuart

      The U.S. Government owns the “land” underneath the Gulf.

      BP leased the oil rights from the Government.

      BP hired Transocean to drill a well. Transocean owns, staffs, and operates the drilling rig. I suppose it’s analogous to a water well; if you want one drilled, you hire somebody to bring a rig to your property. They supply the equipment and personnel to operate it, but as bill-payer, you get to say where they will drill, and how deep.

      Since BP was paying the bill for the drilling process (about 0.5 million US Dollars/month), BP could and did dictate day-to-day management of the drilling process. Testimony thus far suggests that Transocean personnel wanted to proceed at a more deliberate pace, doing more checking and testing, steps that BP insisted be skipped. (For the record: I don’t really know, I wasn’t there, all I know is what I read in the papers.)

      Apparently BP was acting in haste because the rig was scheduled to finish this well sometime last March; they were already seriously over schedule and budget.

      stuart

    • 0 avatar
      stuart

      I goofed. BP was apparently leasing the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform for $530000 per day, not per month. (About 30x what I quoted earlier. :-)

      http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/deepwaterhorizon/7027665.html

      stuart

    • 0 avatar
      mythicalprogrammer

      Because the fail safe mechanism didn’t work cause of dead batteries which BP failed to replace! They got no worst case scenario plan and they are the only one that possess the knowledge to drill and stop this. Obama can put on a sad face and pretend to be busy but he ain’t god. He does have a team of scientists working on this (http://gizmodo.com/5539842/meet-the-team-of-all-star-scientists-obama-assembled-to-fix-the-oil-spill).

      Halliburton got a crappy reputation for capping oil well with cement.

      Seesh no one keep up to date with this oil spill crap? Come on! This is going to be worst then Exxon Valdez and they can still smell oil over there.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Ford was the problem.

    The problem was that the Ford Explorer was a lousy, cheap vehicle that was hugely profitable for Ford. Tires couldn’t stand the underinflation that was recommended.
    http://www.sptimes.com/News/061701/Firestone/Attention_shifts_from.shtml

    • 0 avatar
      L'avventura

      Oil is a fungible commodity, if you don’t buy it can be sold anywhere.

      It doesn’t matter if you boycott a BP station. In fact, all those BP stations are aren’t even owned by BP, they are owned by small businesses that are BP franchisees. You’d be hurting the small businessman rather then BP.

      The only way BP can be hurt by negative public image outside the already existing liability of cleaning up this mess is losing out on future oil leases (which I’m sure no politician would be willing to take a hit on at the moment). But as a consumer, changing your buying habits will have little efficacy in punishing BP.

    • 0 avatar
      L'avventura

      Oops, sorry, meant to reply to thread below.

    • 0 avatar
      mythicalprogrammer

      Yeah, I remember how Firestone took all the heat when they were saying that the tire Ford used wasn’t suppose to be on SUV. They had to leave the country too and left everything to Bridgestone.

      Oh yeah, this why I don’t like Ford. 2011 Mustang is good.. too bad most of their parts are from Mexico.

    • 0 avatar
      Greg Locock

      Odd that almost all the tires that failed were from a factory (Decatur) different to the one that supplied all the tires up to Job 1(Joliet). That is what got Firestone’s countercase thrown out.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    I couldn’t tell you where a BP is within 50 miles of my house anyway, so no big deal to me. Texaco/Chevron and Exxon/Mobil rule this town.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    My question is why would Ford recommend BP?

    Most motorists will say there is no noticeable difference in fuels, and they buy from a particular supplier due to convenience, price, speed of the pump, or an appealing logo design.

    My local Sunoco is conjoined with a Dunkin’ Donuts, and is only a mile from home, so they get my business. They also have the best price within a couple pennies.

    The big difference between BP and Firestone is that BP fuel is not safety-related, so this guilt-by-association doesn’t click for me.

    • 0 avatar

      Ford recommended BP because supposedly they had an interest in green and alternative fuels. Note the little sunflower logo they use.

      Hilariously, even before the accident BP had one of the worst environmental records of any company on Earth. Somehow I don’t think just looking into alternative fuels should be enough for a company to call itself “green”.

  • avatar
    johnny ro

    1- BP is not part of top tier gas consortium.
    2- its not sold near me. Amoco is. Ford obscures this important branding image.
    3-I am in no danger of violating fords suggestion, not wanting a ford.

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      Is Amoco still around? Where are you or do you live in a time machine?

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      Where I am (central Virginia, but anywhere mid-Atlantic that I can tell) all the former Amoco stations were converted to BP and for a while at least they all had a smaller logo on the sign “fuels by Amoco.”

      Going way back to what my dad told me about the 60s/70s, Amoco claimed their gas was better because it was made from lighter/sweeter crude and it refined better. Even into the mid-90s I remember the Amoco station displaying vials of “ours & theirs” gasolines to highlight their supposed purity.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @cdotson: Back when I had my turbo Dodge, the car seemed to run the best on Amoco premium unleaded. I tried using various fuels in that car, but it seemed to me that it responded the best to Amoco.

      On a somewhat related note, some of my wife’s Scottish relatives absolutely refuse to buy BP fuels, due to the way the Scots were treated by the English. And I thought it was just my Croatian relatives who held a grudge…

  • avatar

    I refuse to boycott BP.

    #1 I’d rather buy oil from the Brits than from the Arabs. At least the British aren’t indirectly trying to kill me.

    #2 I want BP to keep getting money to maintain their solvency so they will be able to clean up the mess – rather than the government spending a tax payer dime to do so.

    • 0 avatar
      xyzzy

      +2

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Interesting point: BP (nee the Anglo Iranian Oil Company) is largely responsible for why Iran is as screwed up as it is. Had they not gotten their knickers in a twist about Iran kicking out the Shah and electing Mossadegh, the US and the UK wouldn’t have gone in a reinstated the Shah, which in turn begat another revolution, the Ayatollahs and the likes of Ahmadinejad.

      So, were it not for BP, in a way, we’d probably have a secular, if vaguely socialist, Iranian republic today.

      Another interesting point: the British are largely responsible for splitting Kuwait from Iraq so that they could secure it’s oil resources. That whole enterprise caused all sorts of trouble a few years back.

      Do we want to get into the mess the British made of Irael/Palestine?

      British imperial shortsightedness is a very large part of why all sorts of people want to kill you.

    • 0 avatar
      mythicalprogrammer

      Or… you can get a high mpg car or hybrid or EV vehicle if you feel so strongly about it.

      USA isn’t the number 1 or 2 consumer of Middle East oil anyway. I think it’s Japan, China and Europe last time I check. We get most of ours from Canada I believe.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      psarjhinian,

      So nice to have someone who knows history in this wasteland…

    • 0 avatar

      @psarhjinian:

      So, were it not for BP, in a way, we’d probably have a secular, if vaguely socialist, Iranian republic today.

      I don’t know if I’d say secular. I think the Mideast would be a lot better today if not for the Treaty of Versailles and its stipulations for the English and French taking over, not to mention the 1953 CIA coup and the nightmarish Anglo-Iranian human-rights abuses.

      But secular? Potentially, not necessarily. The Ayatollah might not have come to power, but even “Democratic Presidents” like Saddam Hussein ended up ruling over highly religious states with an emphasis on Islam’s control of society.

      On the other hand, the secularism of the U.A.E. suggests you might be right.

  • avatar
    Telegraph Road

    I refuse to boycott BP too. By the way, BP is now hiring petroleum engineers in the United Arab Emirates. Don’t worry–if you apply they won’t try to kill you, directly or indirectly.

    • 0 avatar
      Stingray

      I don’t think they’re hiring engineers there but for taking them there.

      Here in Venezuela I see with some frequency, every 2-3 months, jobs posting for petroleum engineers to work in UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other middle-east countries.

  • avatar
    Ion

    I’m surprised this took so long for someone else to notice these caps. Ford’s had them for awhile on the older models, I used to see a ton of them when I was a gas jockey.

    Now I believe the reason is because BP sponsors Ford’s World Rally team (along with Abu Dhabi) but I’m not 100% on that.

  • avatar
    Runfromcheney

    Ford signed an agreement with BP in 2005 in exchange for putting that message on their caps. I am pretty sure these caps are only on MY 2005 vehicles, anyways.

    • 0 avatar
      Patrickj

      My 2006 Ford has a BP logo on its gas cap as well.

      It rarely gets any brand name fuel, having run just fine for almost 100,000 miles on the cheapest swill I can find on any given day.

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      I’m a sucker for Speedy Rewards points, so my gas of choice is Speedway, which is owned by Marathon. Marathon has STP additives added to the fuel, Speedway probably has generic additives which, after 151,000 miles (and 179,000 and 239,000 miles respectively on the cars before this one) appear to be fine. Speedway is generally the price leader around here, so I get the best of both worlds.

      There was an old rumor around here about Sohio (and the rumor carries over to BP) gas not being good for cars. Never really bought into that one, especially since they had the number one market share (that award now goes to Marathon).

      Finally, sometimes manufacturers specify premium fuel as a marketing gimmick to give a car a “premium” image. I’ve always used 87 octane even though my Acura specifies premium. I’ve never had a problem with doing that.

      They are usually the

  • avatar
    boyphenom666

    I hate their new logo, and their propaganda about trying to be some kind of “green” energy company. This “green” stuff from companies that produce brown sludge (necessary sludge, but sludge nonetheless) really makes me want to yak. I wish they’d go bad to the old shield logo:

  • avatar
    baggins

    Shouldn’t matter much to Ford. Who thinks Ford had anything to do with the oil spill?

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      “Who thinks Ford had anything to do with the oil spill?”

      Sounds like another excellent TTAC conspiracy theory in the works. Bertel, Edward?

    • 0 avatar
      fiasco

      “Sounds like another excellent TTAC conspiracy theory in the works. Bertel, Edward?”

      Ford needed a big enough hole deep in the ocean to dump 6.5 million recalled Wilderness AT Exploder tires? :)

  • avatar

    I remeber when I used to work for the local Ford dealer in BrooklÝn, ny we used to take off the cas caps and put aftermarket stant caps on, because there was no BP dealer for miles

    • 0 avatar

      Good point, abweiss.

      These “Brand X recommends brand Z” stickers are a business deal.

      Usually for oil, as people believe that topping off with another oil brand is a mortal sin.

      Less so for gas, because everybody knows you can mix the stuff, and there is very little brand loyalty for gas anyway.

      Brand Z pays for “brand X recommends brand Z.” Usually in conjunction with oil deals (big business.) I know of a huge number of oil filler caps that were sourced in China, because VW had that “VW recommends brand Z” on theirs, and the dealers wanted to sell brand Y. Good for the oil filler cap industry ….

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      Were one so naive as to not read/understand the API ratings, one deserves what one gets…

    • 0 avatar
      Stingray

      I was “trained” long time ago by the local petroleum company about the risks of mixing oils, API donut, etc…

      And also we had some oil company study the compatibility of their product with the stuff already injected in our engines. No problem.

      I usually don’t take the risk when topping off, but so far have had no problem switching brands on oil changes

  • avatar
    John Horner

    I think that the main point of the current Deepwater Horizon disaster is that statistically it probably could have happened to any number of deep water rigs. Sure there will be things BP did wrong which led to the disaster, but it is probably a matter a chance which of the big oil companies would have had gotten caught in this mess, just as it was a matter of statistical bad luck that Exxon happened to own the Valdez tanker.

    That said, putting a fuel brand logo on gas caps is a stupid idea.

  • avatar
    findude

    Best coverage of the oil spill and ongoing efforts to solve the problem is, hands down, http://theoildrum.com.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Good read:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prize:_The_Epic_Quest_for_Oil,_Money,_and_Power

  • avatar
    folkdancer

    Thank you Findude for the link to theoildrum.com. I also agree with Mr. Horner.

    Let me see if I got this correct. Here is the U.S. we have a lot of addicts. Many people are killed, a great deal of money is invested, and great risks are taken to supply our addicts.

    But do we blame the addicts? Of course not. We blame the people who are taking the big risks to supply our addictions.

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