Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ford Posts its Worst Quarter Ever

This is a guest post from Ben Nelson, forum member and electric motorcycle guru. Thanks, Ben!

Back in January 2007, the Washinton post reported how the Ford Motor Company had reported a loss of $12.7 billion in 2006, the worst in its 103 year history.

In the same article, “Ford…blamed the loss in 2006 on a profit collapse in its truck-dependent North American division.”

Today, Ford reported a second-quarter loss of $8.7 billion - the worst quarter ever.

Of course most of us sort of expect that. We hear in the news every day about the cost of food, energy, and healthcare. We hear about the housing market and banks going bankrupt.

But we plan ahead, we change as we have to, as do the motor companies.

In May, the F-150, the “best-selling vehicle in America” was outsold by Honda’s Civic and Accord and Toyota’s Camry and Corolla. None of which are pickup trucks, and all of which are know as well-built, fuel-efficient vehicles.

So, Ford is changing right?

In June, Green Car Congress reported that “Ford Motor Company will produce the new Ford Fiesta small car for North America at the company’s transformed Cuautitlán Assembly Plant—currently producing F-Series (F-150 to F-550) pickups for the Mexican market—beginning in early 2010.” North America - that means the Fiesta may or may NOT even be for sale in the United States. And sales two years from now aren’t doing Ford any good this summer.

Take a look at Ford’s main web page. In the “Vehicle Showroom” feature for the Ford brand, six of the vehicles are “cars”, everything else is a pickup, SUV or crossover. And that’s only if you count the Focus and Mustang twice.

While the Ford Escape Hybrid offers greatly improved city mileage over it’s standard engine brother, it comes at a premium of about $8000 extra. That’s if you can find one. This spring, when I checked on availability of that vehicle, I found that there was only one, literally just one, for sale at any dealership in the entire state!

For years, auto manufacturers have been saying that they just are giving the public what it wants, and that’s trucks and SUVs. Ford has continued its manufacturing based on outdated modes of thought about what people want in a vehicle.

Right now, what the public wants is something affordable to operate - not another gas guzzler.

Will Ford make changes to its lineup quick enough to continue as one of the major manufactureres, or will “Built Ford Tough” simply not be good enough?

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