Ford is the welcome back kid many would never thought to see today, or at the very least in such a good shape. Decisions, actions, plans and visions somehow all coincided and put the company on a path to success.
From Pickup Trucks To Electric Cars. This is where Alan Mullaly’s reign has proven a winning formula. Understanding its image of F150 makers had to change, Mullaly set out to revamp the company’s portfolio. First, the mid-size Taurus was freshen up, as well as small Fiesta (rumor mill break: testing electric prototypes in England, no confirmations…) The brand new Fusion hybrid broke records, the electric Transit is set to revolutionize small to big businesses, especially in the local transportation. All in all, the company has an impressive array of offerings.
The EV World. Breaking into the electric vehicle world means you are either a multinational maker or a local startup. Seeing the impressive results from Canadian’s Magna International prototype work electrifying a Focus, Ford announced its first U.S. markets late 2011: Atlanta, Austin & Houston, Texas; Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Orlando, Fla., Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh Durham, N.C.; Richmond, Va., Seattle, and Washington, D.C.. It will be delivered both Europe and North America along with the Transit Connect Electric. The company takes a unique approach to the market by introducing first a multi-use electric Transit commercial/personal van, great for consultants to fleets and that can still pull double duty if you have a big family.
Hybrids, Mild To More. At the same time, the company developed its hybrid line-up and expects the next generation, around 2011/12 to sport new types of lithium. The Escape Plug-In Hybrid, PHEV should also be available at that time. Ford hit the hybrid scene hard here with its Escape that sips 33 to 34mpg in city driving. For an SUV, those are unmatched numbers.
Finally, not too many company have thought of a comprehensive user experience framework around buying and owning an electric vehicle, EV. Nissan took the lead early and Ford has stepped up its EV user initiative with a website designed to help you choose between the different offerings. The gist? You will be able to view videos, text and diagrams to help you understand differences in the different technologies to help you chose better. You will see the Transit Connect Electric within a year hit the roads with the Focus Electric passenger following, the two next generation lithium ion battery powered hybrids will appear and at last the plug-in hybrid, PHEV version of the Escape (and hopefully more) by 2012.
A new decade, a new automobile industry appears. What was once an ordinate world of GM, Toyota and the rest falling into row behind has now seen little startups rubbing elbow with the likes of Mercedes, backed by even bigger groups. Ford clearly stands head and shoulder above its local competition. Talks with VPs and Treasurer shows they not only get it but also agree there is a market for EVs and hybrids, it just need to managed rationally.