Ford's Climate Strategy

According to a recent AutoCar Magazine article: "Ford's chief in Europe and head of its Premier Automotive Group, Lewis Booth envisions that 'in the next 10 or 15 years' consumers will become as aware of their annual carbon output as they are of their bank balance today". "He [Booth] called some countries' favorable tax treatment of hybrid vehicles that still emit high levels of CO2 'completely cuckoo' " "Roelant de Waard, head of Ford in the UK, clearly agreed - he called for the London congestion charge to be scrapped for biofuel-powered Focuses, as they emit less than 100g/km of Co2 - less than all the hybrid models "

Could someone be resentful that that Toyota is stealing market share with hybrid designs? Not mentioned in the cited executive rant is that Prius, the largest selling, tax benefiting-most hybrid on the market, dramatically cuts non-C02 emissions and holds the promise of external recharging.

Getting back to the strategy thing, Mr. Booth also said: "Using a range of developments to improve environmental performance across Ford's car range would deliver far more substantial results than the 'tiny' numbers of hybrids sold..." "Forthcoming developments include gear-shift indicators to encourage economical driving, second-generation biofuels which offer an 80-90 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions "

So, the short term strategy seems to be that Ford, like GM, is going for the ethanol flex fuel, and incremental efficiency improvements in current models, while advocating (we speculate) against more radically efficient designs getting tax breaks, which in turn will steer customers back to Ford.

Pictured is the Ford Focus.