September 17, 2006

Crocodile Tears for Ford Motor Company

The name, the Ford Motor Company, conjures up the historic American automotive pioneering spirit and a proud heritage. But is anyone feeling the slightest bit of sympathy for Ford Motor Company these days? Who can sympathize with corporate decision-makers who have brought this once proud company to this level of incompetence, bad planning, poor design and thoughtless forecasting? Why have they not resigned or been fired long ago? Whatever happens to them, you can be sure they all have their golden parachutes.

To be sure, it is the Ford workers who will suffer the most. It is their jobs that are being eliminated. Eventually, it will probably be their pensions and benefits that will be reduced or lost entirely. It's particularly insidious how the trade union jobs are the main target. How does the reasoning go? Well, we wouldn't be in this trouble if it weren't for all those overpaid union workers. See how easy it is to blame someone else? Especially union employees?

Watching C-SPAN this morning, I was struck by the vast majority of people calling up telling how shoddy their Ford vehicles are, and how they would never buy another one. I pass by my local Ford dealers and what do I see? Their parking lots are filled with huge SUVs and F-350s, F-250s, and F-150 pickup trucks. I saw a local TV ad pushing the Ford Expedition, a 9 seater, 14 miles per gallon (the reality is probably less), over two-and-a-half ton tank, as a family car. This is the insanity that has been governing the American automobile industry for years.

American car companies have been the walking dead for years and they are only just discovering it. They will soon be sitting on the biggest pile of automotive scrap metal and plastic in history and will maintain it wasn't their fault.


Dicky Neely said...

I recall many years ago when one of my uncles bought a Renault Dauphine. At the time, as now, American cars were huge tanks and no one cared about fuel economy or air quality.
Then Datsun came out with a small pickup and they began selling. Still no real reaction from American auto makers.
The rise of the VW changed that for a while but the concept was lost along the way and now, as you mentioned, the rise of the SUV'S(suddenly upside down vehicles) and the popularity of huge pickups and Hummers have shown American car makers have once again lost their way. What is so hard about all this? Consumers have been sold a bill of goods which they have eagerly embraced. Will that change now?

Bruce Larson*Moore said...

Truth in advertising is nonexistent, Consumer Reports should be a required reading and educational tool in every school and classroom in the world. This would go a long way in helping to create and maintain responsible and sustainable relationships between the people, government and corporations.