Ford can't escape the crosshairs of green groups

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Thread: Ford can't escape the crosshairs of green groups

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    GMI Contributor Premium Member Ming's Avatar
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    Ford can't escape the crosshairs of green groups

    Ford can't escape the crosshairs of green groups
    For environmental activists, automaker is No. 1 target for its low fuel economy.
    By Ann Job / Special to The Detroit News

    SAN FRANCISCO -- General Motors Corp. sells as many big, heavy Hummers as it can, and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group is adding gas-hungry Hemi V-8 engines to an ever-increasing number of vehicles. Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Co.p. are adding bigger SUVs and pickup trucks with thirsty engines to their U.S. lineups.

    But it's Ford Motor Co., especially chief executive officer Bill Ford Jr., which remains singularly in the crosshairs of some environmental groups because of its lagging fuel economy.

    Even today, three months after Ford became the first automaker in the world to offer consumers a fuel-thrifty, gasoline-electric hybrid sport utility vehicle -- the Escape Hybrid -- the Sierra Club, Bluewater Network and Rainforest Action Network make no apologies for continuing to target the carmaker. And although there are no specific plans in place yet, they expect to continue their grassroots assault in 2005 by staging more "Days of Intervention" against the automaker.

    All three groups worked with other environmental organizations on an "International Day of Intervention against Ford" last month.

    Organizers estimated that hundreds of grassroots supporters in more than 40 cities in the United States and Canada went to Ford dealerships to protest or meet with dealer personnel and talk about Ford's poor ranking in average fleet fuel economy, which has been the lowest among major automakers in each of the last five years.

    Boston; New Orleans; Boulder, Colo.; Charlotte, N.C.; Oakland and San Rafael, Calif.; Des Moines and Wichita, Kan., as well as Vancouver and Edmonton in Canada, were among the cities that had protesters.

    Organizers said they planned future days of intervention against Ford that might include the Wolverine state.

    "Our sole focus is Ford," said Russell Long, who founded the San Francisco-based Bluewater Network eight years ago. "The No. 1 reason (is) Mr. Ford made all those pledges" to improve fuel economy, then the company retreated from its publicized goal of improving its SUV fuel economy by 25 percent over five years, Long said.

    Bluewater is the 20,000-member organization that petitioned the California legislation to cut carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2016. Automakers are fighting the law because they say it forces improvements in fuel economy, a policy area that is regulated by federal, rather than state, authorities. The group depicted Bill Ford as a fibbing Pinocchio in newspaper ads early this year and is among the parties that want Ford's fleet fuel economy to reach 50 miles per gallon by 2010.

    Brendan Bell of the Sierra Club's Washington, D.C.-based global warming program, also cited Bill Ford's interest in the environment as the reason Ford Motor is being spotlighted over other automakers.

    "Bill Ford's name goes on every car they sell," Bell said. "Americans understand it's his company, and Bill Ford has said we need to address (environmental issues)."

    Jennifer Krill, zero emissions campaign director for the 20,000-member Rainforest Action Network, said, "People expect more from Ford (Motor) because of the company's history of innovation."

    Based in San Francisco, Rainforest focuses on the loss and degradation of the Earth's forests and was behind a high-profile, successful effort to end the Home Depot's sales of wood that comes from endangered forests. But like many environmental groups today, Rainforest considers global warming one of the environmental issues it must address.

    Chrysler isn't targeted the way Ford is, Bell said, because the company's merger with Germany's Daimler-Benz means decisions aren't necessarily made by Americans. He implied that a campaign against Chrysler would be more complicated than one directed at Ford.

    And making an impact on GM is difficult because the company has so many brands.

    Full Article Here: http://www.detnews.com/2004/autosins.../C01-43497.htm


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    Re: Ford can't escape the crosshairs of green groups

    I don't know much about Ford, I don't research their cars much. However, I was surprised at how low the gas mileage ratings are for the New Mustang.

    I was comparing it to the LS1 powered Z28's and Firebirds of 4-5 years ago.
    The mustang GT has arguably less power (300 hp versus the LS1 being underated at 300-305 but really about 325). The Mustang is slightly lighter (by about 100 lbs), has a few years more technology at its disposal, and in automatic format it has a 5 speed auto instead of a 4 speed automatic.

    Yet, with all of this going for it, it's mileage ratings are STILL lower than the F-body LS1's of 3-6 years ago. Kinda surprised by that.

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    Re: Ford can't escape the crosshairs of green groups

    I find it interesting that many Ford products achieve noticably lower mileage than GM rivals. Here are a few examples

    Taurus 3.0 Vulcan 19/26
    Taurus 3.0 Dohc Duratec 20/27

    Chevy Impala 3400 21/32
    Chevy Impala 3800 20/30

    Chevy Malibu 2.2 24/35
    Chevy Malibu 3500 22/32

    Ford Crown Victoria/Grand marquis 18/26
    Buick LeSabre/Pontiac Bonneville 20/29

    Chevy Silverado 4X4 Pickup with 4.8 V8 16/20 with 5.3 15/19
    Ford F-150 4X4 pickup with 4.6 V8 14/18 with 5.4 14/18

    Now in the case of the Taurus/Sable clones the final drive has a lot to do with the poor showing. They pack a 3.96:1 whereas Chevy uses a 2.86 on the 3400 and a 3.05 on the 3800. The Crown Vic is just plain old porky and I'll bet the F-150 truck line weights more than the Chevy's.

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    Re: Ford can't escape the crosshairs of green groups

    Even today, three months after Ford became the first automaker in the world to offer consumers a fuel-thrifty, gasoline-electric hybrid sport utility vehicle -- the Escape Hybrid -- the Sierra Club, Bluewater Network and Rainforest Action Network make no apologies for continuing to target the carmaker. And although there are no specific plans in place yet, they expect to continue their grassroots assault in 2005 by staging more "Days of Intervention" against the automaker.

    All three groups worked with other environmental organizations on an "International Day of Intervention against Ford" last month.
    Who cares? "Green groups" are so-named not because they care of the environment, but because they like to smoke "green" grass, that's why!

    Everyone knows that Fords drink more than GM, this has been since the days of the Model T and the Chevy 490!



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    Re: Ford can't escape the crosshairs of green groups

    I just don't understand what these people's problem is. Ford tried to do the right thing. Granted, Ford was delusional when they made their statements, but at least they made an effort. You'd think these people would give Ford credit for taking the environmental issue serously. The Escape hybrid is proof that Ford is trying.

    Where's the outrage at the Toyota big SUV, the Sequoia? Toyota's website says that behemouth gets 15/18 mileage. And the Honda Pilot is no star. 17/22 (per Honda website) is not exactly stellar.

    The whole thing at the end of the article about Ford being specifically targeted because they are the easiest to attack is just plain weak. These people need to get their heads out of their rear ends.

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    Re: Ford can't escape the crosshairs of green groups

    This is interesting. I was reading the Wall Street Journal the other day and they had an article claiming that GM had the LOWEST overall fuel economy of any manufacturer in the industry.

    I don't care what manufacturer is their target, LEAVE THEM ALONG. Get a life tree-huggers.

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    Re: Ford can't escape the crosshairs of green groups

    There's fuel economy and then there is emissions. I don't know the numbers but aren't a lot of Ford's vehicles considered to be ULEVs? Maybe they use considerably more gas but at the same time, they might emit greener emissions.

    And yes, good question. Just because Toyota has the Prius and Honda the Insight, niether of which achieve their acclaimed gas mileage, doesn't mean they don't eat a fair amount of gas either. Not only that, in many cases Toyotas and Hondas required higher grade fuel than do GM and Ford. Seems to me someone is pulling strings somewhere.
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    Re: Ford can't escape the crosshairs of green groups



    What is Nissan Going to do? They are used to copying Ford with Impunity, and Toyota has copied Ford for their first Tundra, are they going to copy the sport trac?

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    Re: Ford can't escape the crosshairs of green groups

    Another fact of environmental extremists targeting Ford unfairly despite the positive steps the company has taken. I'm not a Ford fan, but lets be fair. The way they are targeting Ford, they use lame excuses not to target DCX and GM! And lets not forget, I like the Nissan Titan, but its fuel economy is not good either. I think Ford is being used as a scapegoat. It's true that Ford gets lower fuel economy than comparable GM's for the most part. My various car rentals claim that. But they shouldn't target Ford when they are doing the right thing by improving efficiency.

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    Re: Ford can't escape the crosshairs of green groups

    Ford can't make trucks that run on manure- these groups must realize that. What's funny is that Ford trucks probably helped build the house they're living in, but they would like to think Priuses and Insights can do everything a truck can. Seriously, the "International Day of Intervention against Ford"? They've taken it too far, we don't need these groups going Greenpeace on Detroit.
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    Re: Ford can't escape the crosshairs of green groups

    A while back, I posted the mileage of similar trucks from the major makes in the US: GM, Ford, Dodge, Toyota, and Nissan. Oddly, the Japanese makes were not clearly superior - or even average - to the Domestics. I'm all for balancing commercial needs and envrionmental needs, but to paint a single automaker as the driving force behind pollution is ridiculous. To do so is to present as imbalanced a picture as these same groups accuse Ford in its alleged carelessness of the environment. And I'm usually suspicious of holier-than-thou persons who proclaim to "get it."

    Perhaps a more balanced picture might try to identify why Americans have an appetite for fuel-thirsty vehicles, and why the Japanese makes plan to satiate this hunger with fuel-thirsty (thirstier?) vehicles of their own now and increasingly more so in the future. Or these groups might have tried to praise Ford for its developing River Rouge plant that aims to be much more environmentally friendly than manufacturing plants of the past.

    You know, the Domestics have missed the target on a lot of things in the past - really, a lot! Heck, they continue to miss the target presently in several areas. But let's not forget that the criticism should be measured with some praise for the things that they're doing correctly, too.

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    Re: Ford can't escape the crosshairs of green groups

    Ford is an easy target due to the fact that they have the largest SUV currently offered in their stable, and they sell the most trucks of any single marque. they have 3 best sellers and they are all trucks, so the greenies are going to jump them first, and who really cares? i don't pay much attention to what those idiots do, unless they are burning down Hummer dealerships. they're over the top for the environment just like PETA is for animals. i'd hazard a guess that few of them actually drive green vehicles since most of them seem to not work judging by all the free time on their hands. they probably drive older model vehicles that pollute worse than your average H2, and yet are hypocritical enough to make sure they point out what FoMoCo is doing wrong. they should commend them on the Escape Hybrid like they commended Toyota on the Prius when it hit the ground. instead, they'd rather bash Ford for not doing more, and if that's the way they want to look at things, great, let them be short-sighted idiots. as long as they don't vandalize other people's property, they don't affect too many people. i'm going to buy what i want, regardless of how many picketers are standing outside a particular building. actually, i might be more likely to buy something just to spite them.... because that's the kind of a-hole i am.

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    Re: Ford can't escape the crosshairs of green groups

    Why doesn't Ford drop the idea of making money and just invest all of their money into making only vehicles that satisfy the requirements of these environmental groups. Yeah, rather than making a replacement for the Taurus and paying healthcare and retirement benefits they should make the perfect vehicle. Yeah, Ford's auto group makes a ton of money and they can esily do this, it's not like Ford should have any priorities above the environment. Hopefully the environment is placed above keeping the company in business.

    These groups need to get in the real world.

    We shoud pressure the auto companies to make more efficient vehicles, but that also includes consumers making the right choices. This target is unfair.

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    Re: Ford can't escape the crosshairs of green groups

    I find it funny how environmentalists are targeting their only domestic ally. They can be so stupid....

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    Re: Ford can't escape the crosshairs of green groups

    Stupid enviormentalist! Those same enviormentalist wanted to make it illegal to change your own oil in California. They wanted auto manufaturers to put speciall plugs in the oil plans so only shops could change your oil. They go overboard with their air quality standards. They make it illegal to do an engine swap even if the engine you put in burns cleaner. They also make it illegal to put an aftermarket part on your car unless it has a CARB #.
    Dont they understand the more power your car makes the less you have to mash the gas to overtake someone.

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