"Our Results are Bad, but it Sure Feels Good Around Here" - to paraphrase Bill Ford

From:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060720/ap_on_bi_ge/earns_ford_12
"We have the right strategy, and the cultural change has been remarkable. There's a new sense of candor and urgency, an awareness of
what needs to be done and an intense focus on fixing the business," he said in a conference call with investors.
Wow, I never tried anything that lame in all my years in management, but then I didn't have a family business to play with.
He also said:
"We did anticipate that the world would not remain static and that things like crossovers and cars would actually play a bigger role in the industry's future, and, therefore, we planned them to play a bigger role in our future," Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Ford told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
"It's just that the speed at which this happened over one quarter we didn't foresee that."
Gosh, Bill ... you didn't notice the run-up in gas prices over these past two years? Most of it happened before you announced the "Way Forward" program. What happened to your promise several years ago to improve fuel economy of Ford's large trucks and SUVs by 25% ??????
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

In all fairness to Mr. Ford, it was not anticipated that fuel prices would rise as high as they did, as rapidly as they did or would stay up as long as they are. And sales of SUVs and trucks stayed up while gas prices stayed high. It wasn't until people started to realize that the high gas prices are here to stay that people started to buy more fuel-efficent vehicles.
I don't know what happened to his promise to improve the fuel efficency of trucks by 25%. Imagine what that would have done to truck sales for Ford. A lot of people would have bought Fords rather than products from Dodge and GM.
Jeff

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff wrote:

Reality sucks!
Building trucks that people are willing to buy that are also 25% more efficient is not a trivial exercise. Tundra's aren't sisgnificantly more fuel efficient than F150's when similarly equipped. Titans are even less fuel efficent than F150s. Customers want bigger trucks. Only the Ranger is left as a compact truck. Even GM has moved thier smallest trucks up to the mid-size category. Tacomas are now almost as large as Tundras. Frontiers are the size of Duragos. It is unrealistic to expect Ford (or any other manufacturer) to build bigger, more powerful, more capable trucks, and increase fleet fuel efficiency by 25%. If Bill Ford could convince everyone to buy 4 cylinder manual transmission Rangers and Escapes instead of 5.4L F150 Supercrews and Expeditions, he could easily make his fleet 25% more fuel efficient. Diesels could help, but building light duty diesels that meet US air quality standards is not trivial. Hybrids for passenger vehicles might help, but I don't think they are ever going to be all that useful for "work" trucks as opposed to "ride around" trucks (aka vanity trucks).
So Bill Ford can either quit building vehicles that people want and hope instead they will buy the more of the fuel efficient trucks and SUVs Ford already sells or just do the best he can supply the most fuel efficient vehicles that Customers will actually buy. He is not a magician. He can't suddenly make an Expedition size vehicle get 20 mpg while meeting safety rules, air pollution rules, Customer expeditions, etc. You can't beat up Ford for not being able to do something no one else can do either.
I know Bill Ford wanted to the environmentally friendly thing, but he can't afford to let the company go bankrut becasue he wants to make environmetalist happy.
Ed
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I had the impression that the idea was to make each model more efficient, not just the entire fleet.
Of course, using smaller engines will help. But only some much. When you have to pull a lot of weight around, there is a limit because you have a lot of work to do just to move the truck. Diesels can be used effectively. Dodge and GM both have deisels in small trucks. But they cost more. Hybrids will really help in some trucks, like trucks that stop and go a lot, like trucks that are used for delivery or are driven in cities. I suspect that hybrids will be in trucks (you can put the batteries under the bed), and will really help in city traffic. They will not help as much on trucks that go on the highway.
Except for hybrids, diesels and fuel cells down the road, I don't see that there is really that much you can do to really increase the fuel efficency of trucks. You can't change the aerodynamics of trucks that much. And you can't decrease the weight of trucks, because they need the iron and steel so they can carry stuff.
So without using new and expensive technology, as you point out, there is not that much that can be done.
Other than choose trucks that meet people's need, not exceed them.

But Ford already builds vehicles that make more 20 mpg. When fuel efficency is an issue, they buy those more fuel efficent vehicles.

There are other things Ford can do to improve the fuel efficency of trucks. Unless people are willing to spend the money, Ford won't do them.
Jeff

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff wrote:

I think Bill Ford's problem was that he spoke his hopes without having them grounded in any kind of reality. The emperor truly had no clothes.
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Did they ever think about selling smaller cars?
We Don't have anything smaller than a Focus here (couldn't they sell the Ka here?)
Police is still relying on Crown vics. Why isn't there a Ford Falcon here (like in Australia)?
I own a Contour. I've tried a Mondeo (it's supposed to be the same car, yet the Contour's suspension is detuned, same with steering, to give that *big american boat* feeling...)
Wondering why the big three are failing?
I've driven a brand new Audi (1.8T Quattro). Although it is only a turbocharged 4-banger, I loved the way that car handled curves, and had so much peppiness.
Why can't American cars be like that?
No AWD Mustang or 'Vette
--

(\_ _/)
(='.'=) This is Bunny. Copy and paste bunny into your
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
El Bandito wrote:

Once again, the foreign automakers have the product and are responding.
Honda is bringing in the Fit and is selling them so fast that you cannot find one to test drive at many dealers.
Toyota is selling the Yaris and the Scion sub-compacts.
BMW has the Mini.
GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler are stuck doing the bzzzzzttttt.
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Actually, DC has the Smart. Unfortunatley, they lost $3B on it so far in Europe.
Ford has the Ka and Streeka which they are selling in the UK (http://www.ford.co.uk ) and other countries.
Jeff

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff wrote:

Of course I was talking about the vehicles available in the US. Ford, Chrysler and GM have often had smaller more economical models for sale in other markets, yet repeatedly get caught with their pants down in the US. I'm old enough to remember the 1970s very well :).
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The Smart will be available in the US next year or the year after.
There is no reason why Ford can't import the others into the US, but they choose not to.
Jeff

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.