Saturday, March 05, 2011

Ford and Chrysler are looking to Shoot themselves in the foot again–and again shoot America while they are at it!!!

Ford and Chrysler are looking to Shoot themselves in the foot again–and again shoot America while they are at it!!!

The Union of Concerned Scientist wrote me (See below). They want us to speak up to the Lousy “New Ideas” coming out of Ford and Chrysler leaders ad nauseum.

Here is my comment:

I have lived in both Japan and Germany ( a total of 9 years) and both country’s approach the challenges of high foreign energy costs differently than Detroits Big 3 do. They take a long term view.

The view from Detroit has been carelessly short-term for decades. Let’s not revert to the bad practices of the 1980s, 1980s, and 2000s when Detroit helped the US to bust its economy due to short-term profits etc.

Contact USA TODAY and your Congressmen and demand better policies and practices from these major firms.–Kevin Stoda

UCS Clean Car Watchdog

Ford tells the press it’s for fuel economy, but works to weaken standards in Washington

Fred Meier of USA Today lets us know that both Ford and Chrysler are showing strong sales, and that, at least with Ford, their success can be attributed to an emphasis on fuel economy. What the story is missing is the fact that the Ford and Chrysler examples actually show why today’s vehicle standards are already working, and why strong standards through 2025 are critical to a genuine clean car future. These standards will help break America’s dangerous addition to oil and are a significant piece of Union of Concerned Scientists’ plan to cut our nation’s projected oil use in half by 2030.

We’ve proven time and time again that the public voice is an essential counterbalance to the automaker PR machine. So at this critical juncture, as the Obama administration is determining the shape of our clean car future, we need your voice to help us set the record straight as the automakers look for public credit for this sales success while privately lobbying to weaken the next round of clean car standards.

Follow these quick steps to comment on the article:

1. Go to the USA Today article.
2. In the top right of the page, click on either “log in” or “ become a member” if you are not already (it’s free and does not take long).
3. Once you are logged on, use the personalization tips below to write your own unique comment on this article in the “comments” field found at the bottom of the article.
4. Copy and paste your comment and email it to us so we can save and reuse your comment to maximize its effect.

Thank you for your determined efforts to bring clean cars to our country!

We’re also on Facebook! If you’re a Facebook user and want to use the power of “The Social Network” to clean up our cars, you can also “like” our new UCS Clean Car Watchdog Facebook page. It will give you the latest news and even more real-time opportunities to make your voice heard on this crucial issue. Join the UCS Clean Car Watchdog on Facebook!

Personalization Tips:

* Keep it clean: Angry and frustrated? That’s fine, but please resist use of profanity or name-calling. No need to give the moderators an excuse for not posting your comment.
* Make it personal: Whether you are an engineer who knows that clean car technologies are affordable or a parent who wants cleaner options to cart the kids around, make it clear why you care about this issue.
* Build on other comments: If there are comments already posted that you can build from, whether it is to agree or disagree, that helps make the comments into a conversation.
* Don’t worry about length: One good sentence can be as effective here as one good page of text. Don’t feel compelled to write an op-ed, or constrained to write just one point. Do what works for you.
* DON’T copy and paste what is below: You’ll find some particular tips below on this article. Please make these comments your own rather than pasting directly from the tips.
* Ford sales benefit from current clean car standards: The current clean car standards (pdf) that run through 2016 have pushed Ford and the other automakers to finally focus their engineering efforts on providing more fuel-efficient options across their product lines. The sales success of the Explorer is testament to that, using a package of design and technological improvements very similar to the UCS Guardian, a vehicle blueprint developed back in 2003. Indeed, BusinessWeek said that Ford “might as well be working off the UCS checklist” with the Explorer. The same can be said for the success of the Fiesta and the Focus. Ford is now introducing the Focus SFE, a conventional car that will get 40 mpg on the highway.
* Chrysler takes taxpayer money for hybrid trucks, but won’t put them on the market: Chrysler’s current success comes from its pickup truck sales. Unlike SUVs, where Ford has worked to bump up fuel economy, pickup owners are still not getting the benefits of better fuel economy—something more important as many of these are work trucks that will pay dearly as gas prices jump once again. Chrysler took nearly $50 million in taxpayer dollars to develop a plug-in hybrid Ram. Chrysler has said it will not market this vehicle, with an executive saying “Truckers don’t want to buy hybrids.” This comes after Chrysler pulled the plug on bringing a conventional hybrid to market, and pulled the plug on their electric vehicle research program despite making it a component of the plan submitted to the government as part of their multi-billion dollar taxpayer bailout.
* These reasons are exactly why we need the 2025 standards to be strong: Ford and Chrysler show how the current round of clean car standards have already benefited the consumer, but also show that the only way we can make sure that the technologies that can protect us from gas price spikes in the future, and truly end our addiction to oil will actually come to market is if the next round of standards are strong. Otherwise we will be subject to the “Truckers don’t want to buy hybrids” rationale even when millions of taxpayer dollars are spent to develop these technologies (not to mention billions on government bailouts for Chrysler and GM).
* We can go 60 mpg: A fleet average of 60 mpg is attainable, affordable and, according to analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation, delivers the greatest oil and pollution savings. But both Ford and Chrysler are working in Washington to make sure the next set of standards is far weaker than that.
* Remember to copy and paste: Remember to copy the comment you write, then paste it in an email and send it to us.



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