Thursday, April 13, 2006

According to Mark Fields SUVs are like Automotive Crack!

I was over at 4DriversOnly blog, reading BrooklynBob's (CarsCarsCars!) latest piece on the NY AutoShow and he referred to this article quoting Mark Fields of Ford (Link in title) saying that some people will continue buying large trucks and SUVs even if the price of gas were to go over $4 per gallon. Bob had a picture of a gas sign above where Unleaded Regular was $3.95 and Premium was over $4 per gallon.
Now I'm sure that Mr Fields may be right, that some people who have a need for such large vehciles will continue to buy large SUVs, but it seems a bit arogant and delusional to assume a business as ussual stance here. I mean, how can you "Drive American Innovation" by just doing the same old crap. Now maybe Mr Fields was taken out of context, it happens. But if I were him, I would have said that Ford will continue to meet the needs of it's customers and some of those customers need large trucks and SUVs, but we're working on technologies that will improve the fuel economy of these vehicles, such as our Hydraulic Launch Assist and more efficient Gasoline and Diesel powertrains. Hell mention Hybrids if you have to, but don't just say, we're going to continue building as many large SUVs and pickups as we can.
It makes him sound like some drug dealer talking about how he will continue to supply the addicts. I mean it's not really about who needs these large SUVs, it's more who wants them. There is no doubt a percentage of the population that NEED them. But far more of these barges are sold as status symbols or out of some delusion of increased safety. What happened to all of that "Year of the Car" talk? On one hand Ford talks about new product and innovation through technology and then they say "but don't fear, we're going to build as many of these monsters as you suckers will buy!"

Come on, get real for a minute. When gasoline reaches $4 per gallon and beyond, Ford GM and Chrysler can expect sales of large SUVs and pickups to slide even further and if they aren't prepared with more fuel efficient powertrain technologies and vehicles, they will find themselves gone the way of the dodo. I hope Mr Fields was taken out of context, because if he wasn't he sounds like a fool.

Ford has such promissing technologies they've highlighted, wouldn't it be great if "Driving American Innovation" really meant something?

4 comments:

Igor said...

good point about out of context...

he didn;t contextualize it far enough however..... he should have emphasied the direction, not status quo...

but I would not say Fields will keep anything in "businness as usual mode"

Igor

Cars! Cars! Cars! said...

That sign was in Brooklyn Heights in the summer of 2005. It was near the end of summer... around August I think.

There were less expensive stations in Brooklyn. I happened to be passing it, however, and snapped a pic.

I was passing on foot... who could afford the gas other than that Ford exec? :)

Anonymous said...

In Belgium we pay US $ 1.25 for 1 liter so that's over US $ 5.00 per gallon !
Statistics show that SUVs and Pick-ups sales go up every year since 2003...

Ray said...

mmm...automotive crack. Best. Crack. Ever.