April 24, 2018
By Phasing Out Sedans and Favoring Gas-Guzzlers, Ford Is Driving Itself Off a Cliff
Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen
Note: Ford Motor Company announced it would end sales of Ford sedans in North America, in favor of more profitable sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pickup trucks.
Fat on profits from SUV sales in the early 2000s, the Big Three automakers drove themselves to the brink of collapse with their failure to plan for the inevitable rise in gasoline prices.
Now Ford is repeating the error, in a shortsighted and destructive move that will harm consumers, shareholders and the planet.
Instead of giving consumers diverse and attractive options, marketing smaller cars and investing in more efficient technologies, Ford is betting its future almost entirely on SUVs and pickups. That’s a bet made on dubious assumptions about perpetually low gas prices. Perhaps Ford also thinks it can load the dice by colluding with the Trump administration to roll back clean car standards. But it should know that the effort will fail in the courts; fail in the political realm – with subsequent administrations sure to impose increasingly tough fuel standards; and fail in the marketplace, where consumers will seek both diverse transportation options and increasingly gravitate toward superefficient vehicles.
Ford CEO Jim Hackett is driving his company off a cliff.