Friday, July 21, 2006

Ford Says it is Environmentally Conscious because it may Produce 70 mpg Cars in TEN YEARS: Is This a Cruel Joke?

In case you haven't noticed it yet, here is the "Writing on the Wall" for the American Car Industry:

"Unless you NOW begin to manufacture cars with dramatic improvements in fuel efficiency standards, there will be little left of GM and Ford in ten years."

While Honda and Toyota already have cars on the market that are getting over 60 mpg, Ford is trying to promote itself as environmentally conscious with a publicity campaign in the United Kingdom saying that within ten to 15 years (I thought this was a joke when I first read it, but sadly it is not!) it may produce a Ford Focus that gets 70 mpg. What's wrong with this picture?

The article from Reuters (included below) would be hilariously ridiculous if it were not so disgusting in showing how American-based car companies seem to be completely out to lunch when it comes to both environmental consciousness and fuel efficiency standards. In fact, they seem to be trying to distract attention from their increasingly outrageous failures to increase fleet fuel economy standards significantly by focusing attention on what they may be doing ten years from now--by which time they may be selling cars that get the same gas mileage that Honda and Toyota cars get NOW! And then the American car companies wonder why they are having such difficulty surviving!

Here is some "news" for the American car companies, in case they haven't seen the writing on the wall: If they don't wake up and start improving their fuel economy standards dramatically within the next three years (not ten!), there will not be much left to Ford or GM ten years from now!

In ten years Honda and Toyota will probably be selling cars that get over 100 mpg, while Ford and GM dealers will be stuck with thousands of 30-40 mpg cars and SUVs they can't sell.... That's the future of FORD and GM, unless they wake up and begin to change their ways.

Article From Reuters-UK:
As part of its concerted campaign on the environment, Ford has spoken out about the importance of reducing CO2 emissions.

Speaking at the London Motor Show, Lewis Booth, Ford's most senior executive in Europe, said, "I believe that in the near future - perhaps 10 or 15 years from now - every adult in the UK will have an accurate idea of how much CO2 they emit into the atmosphere each year, just as today we all have a fairly good idea of how much money we have in our bank accounts."

"At Ford, we are now accelerating our plans, increasing our actions and, importantly, our investment in environmental technologies," said Booth. The two main announcements from Ford are the £1 billion investment in environmental technology and the target of 70 mpg for the Ford Focus within 10 years.

While there is absolutely no doubting Ford of Europe's environmental commitment [well, I do doubt it! --policybusters], it would be even better if Lewis Booth could persuade Ford of America to improve the abysmal CO2 performance of its models.

Indeed! In 2000 the Ford Focus in Europe, where it is equipped with a fuel-efficient Endura DI engine, already achieved 47 mpg. Why is this version of the Ford Focus not being produced in the US (where the Focus gets only an average of 30 mpg)? If this version of the Focus were being produced in the US, it would NOW be competitive with some of Honda's and Toyota's higher-priced hybrid cars, and if Ford bothered to produce a HYBRID version of the Ford Focus, with already available technologies, the fuel efficiency of this Ford car could already be superior to that of Honda and Toyota hybrids.

So the fundamental question is: Why are not American car manufacturers NOW producing more fuel efficient cars, with currently existing technologies that make 70-80 mpg cars possible now!?

As Barry Thomson wrote in 2000:
While fuel-efficient cars represent the future, the Big Three are keen to perpetrate the image of an out-of-reach distant future. In February Ford unveiled the Excursion, the world's largest Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), a 19-foot, 3.5-ton behemoth that averages 12 mpg. The US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) has been campaigning to close the loophole in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards that require SUVs and light trucks to average only 20.7 mpg (compared to 27.5 mpg for cars).

Between 1975 and 1989 CAFE rules helped double the nation's fuel economy but for the last five years, Congress has prohibited the Department of Transport from tightening fuel-economy standards. This has resulted in a decline in the US average gas mileage to 23.8 mpg in 1999 -- the lowest since 1980. The decline is due to the popularity of the fuel-inefficient SUVs "Greed Cars."

So the next time you hear an American car manufacturer complaining about its loss of market share, there are two things you can do: laugh, and tell them to wake up and look at the writing on the wall, which says:

"Unless you NOW begin to manufacture cars with dramatic improvements in fuel efficiency standards, there will be little left of GM and Ford in ten years."

Other information to cut through the bull-crap, lies, and mystification being spewed like pollution by the car industry and their lobbyists and political puppets (including the Bush administration) in Washington:

Hydrogen's Dirty Secret by Barry Lynn (2003)

Today's Promises, Tomorrow's Cars? by Environmental Defense

Great article on "The Birth of the Prius"--and all the hurdles Toyota had to overcome to bring the Prius to market--by Alex Taylor III (2006)

2002 Testimony on our Government's PNGV program, killed by the Bush administration


At 7:55 AM, Blogger decie said...

Our little green country was once covered in smog and winter was worse with people getting chest infections for the smog.
The government got their fingers out and got rid of our smog.
We had solid full fires in every house now its gas all cars run on unleaded petrol. And all factories have cut down on emit ions and we are now recycling our waste so we are once again a nice little green country but not happy. We will only be happy when Bush stops his killing machines landing in our country. to be green everyone has to work together.


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