Ford, utility ready to work on plug-in car

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by boulder_bum, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. boulder_bum

    boulder_bum Senior Member

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    http://money.cnn.com/2007/07/06/autos/bc.f...sion=2007070623

    First Chevy with the Volt, now Ford (and hopefully Toyota) are racing for plug-in hybrids! This is great!
     
  2. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    This is indeed great news. But the skeptic in me continues to remind me that Bill Ford is a self-proclaimed "Muscle Car Guy" who blew off hybrids, then promised to produce a million hybrids, then withdrew that promise.

    For the sake of my own safety, I will not hold my breath between now and when one of the cars is available.
     
  3. priusFTW

    priusFTW Gen III JBL non Nav

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(TonyPSchaefer @ Jul 7 2007, 09:36 AM) [snapback]474590[/snapback]</div>
    I agree with Tony, but hopefully, just the announcement alone, will heat up the race!
     
  4. morpheusx

    morpheusx Professor Chaos

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    I'm anxious for that Ford F150 they said that will be out for 2009 model year. It supposedly is a hydraulic hybid that uses regenerative braking to store hydraulic pressure that was developed with UPS and the US Army, currently it is in the testing phase on 4 UPS trucks, but they say it increases the F150 to 50 MPG because they say it is a more efficient way of storing energy. But I'm not holding my breath.
     
  5. LaughingMan

    LaughingMan Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(TonyPSchaefer @ Jul 7 2007, 09:36 AM) [snapback]474590[/snapback]</div>

    Good thing that Bill Ford doesn't run the company anymore then...

    I'm cautiously optimistic about such an announcement. I'm still waiting on ford to do something other than rehasing the same Escape they've had for the last 4 years.
     
  6. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    This is a good thing.

    It means infrastructure. Hopefully it won't be Ford proprietary. If Ford builds them and there is an infrastructure to charge them, then others can build them too and take advantage.
     
  7. Pinto Girl

    Pinto Girl New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(TonyPSchaefer @ Jul 7 2007, 08:36 AM) [snapback]474590[/snapback]</div>
    Coupla things.

    1. Recall that Bill Ford stepped aside to allow --for the first time in the company's history-- an outsider to take the helm. He's admitted that he doesn't have the stuff to save the company
    2. Alan Mulally can be pretty ruthless, and as an outsider, isn't bound by the corporate 'way.' There's a story about, when he first came on board and met a select group of senior staff, one of these folks asked him, "how can you, someone who doesn't even know the automobile industry, turn around the company?" To which he replied, "A car has, what, 10,000 parts to it? An airplane has two million...and it has to fly..." (alluding to his successful turnaround of Boeing, another hidebound company.)

    I actually think that he might (if there's enough capital left) be able to pull it off...*if* the company has enough momentum to get through this rough spot.

    I, too, am not holding my breath, but remember that for the first time in Ford history, they offered up ALL the assets of their North American operations as collateral...including the rights to the iconic blue oval itself. This is as serious as it gets for them; their continued response to the crisis should be fascinating.
     
  8. DGCL

    DGCL New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Godiva @ Jul 9 2007, 10:31 AM) [snapback]475591[/snapback]</div>
    Amen to that - we need everyone to standardize on a charger with potential fast charge capabilities like the Phoenix cars and we need them to do it soon. While I love Tesla, their charger is proprietary and incompatible with current public chargers which scares me a little.
     
  9. burritos

    burritos Senior Member

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    TALK IS CHEAP.
     
  10. Pinto Girl

    Pinto Girl New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(burritos @ Jul 9 2007, 02:06 PM) [snapback]475669[/snapback]</div>
    Agreed.

    but...

    I think what makes this situation a bit different than, say, GM's, is that Ford's back is up against the wall, money-wise. They're selling off/leveraging pretty much everything, including the entirety of North American Ops, to raise enough capital for one, maybe one and a half rounds of new product development.

    There's nothing left after that.

    Unlike GM, we're not looking at a potentially infinite number of cycles where they make a promise, then fail to deliver.

    Ford has few chances left at reclaiming lost market share with innovative new product. That's it. If it doesn't happen, the Ford family is out of the car business for good.

    This is why I don't think that --at this juncture-- talk is nearly as cheap for Ford, as it is for GM.
     
  11. Topgas

    Topgas New Member

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    I really don't think it's possible to save Ford at this point, knowone has the balls or the power to do the structural stuff that needs to be done to save it. I say this with a heavy heart, they'll all consolidate somehow in the end. I hope I'm wrong....
     
  12. Pinto Girl

    Pinto Girl New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Topgas @ Jul 9 2007, 07:09 PM) [snapback]475828[/snapback]</div>
    I fear you're right. I recall reading somewhere a prediction written in the mid 1990s, that by the early 21st Century the American market could only support two domestic manufacturers.

    For a while, I thought it might be Chrysler to go, but now it is, indeed [sigh] looking like the grim reaper is knocking on Ford's (ill-fitting and rattling) door.

    Too much internal inertia, and the simple fact that it takes a missile silo full of money to engineer a new car these days.

    I think Mulally said in an early speech to shareholders, "we've been going out of business slowly for the last forty years..."
     
  13. boulder_bum

    boulder_bum Senior Member

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    I'd be a little disappointed if Ford went under. In recent years, they've acheived unprecedented levels of quality and they're starting to innovate with technologies like hydrolic hybrids and their new plans for the electric vehicle.

    If they can survive a while longer (and get up to speed with increased CAFE standards), I'd say their long-term prospects are starting to look pretty good!
     
  14. Pinto Girl

    Pinto Girl New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Boulder Bum @ Jul 10 2007, 11:20 AM) [snapback]476166[/snapback]</div>
    I'd be really disappointed, actually; my family was affiliated with the company for decades and I'm still waaaay too familiar with their product line for my own good.

    You're right; I think the question is: will the cash run out before new product comes out the other end of the pipeline...or not?

    From what little I know about it, I'd say it's about 50/50 at this point. And it's not going to be any easier for them, since it sounds like they're trying something completely different...probably no existing platform to be used, all of that additional powertrain development, and the fact that Ford's dealer franchises aren't really under any direct control, which will make supporting these cars more difficult, too...

    I don't know as much about the current strength of their R&D bench. It'll be interesting to see if they hire a bunch of new folks for this effort or not...if it's a big group of consultants who design it, and and third party assembler who actually builds 'em...I'm guessing that Ford may simply not have the intellectual horsepower and other resources to solve this problem in house. Again, this part is a big question mark for me; more answers to things like this would probably be insightful.

    I think that it all depends on how well, internally, Ford employees come around to doing things more efficiently. They're changing processes, but we all know that sometimes the staff isn't immediately on board with the program. That's, unfortunately, a big, big question mark. Mulally did this well at Boeing, but Ford is a tougher nut to crack.
     
  15. mwalsh

    mwalsh Member

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    I contacted the gal who runs SCE's EV Research Center. She says that they're not anticipating deployment of these vehicles until 2009! :eek: I'm not sure I understand why when Ford is saying that they're going to be giving SCE 2008 model year cars???? :huh:

    Is it just me, or is that going to be too late? Surely someone else will have something to market commercially by then? Maybe even something affordable (for those of us without deep pockets).
     
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