Ford Motor Company did itself a huge favor recently by backing away from its pledge to bump-up its hybrid production ten-fold in four years. But, as it turns out, the company might have done the planet a whale of a favor too.
Just last fall, CEO Bill Ford was valiantly promising in a mega-million dollar ad campaign that the company would never, ever turn away from its hybrid pledge because these vehicles were central to the company’s reputation as an “innovator and environmental steward.”
Never mind that at the time Ford was losing $2,000 to $3,000 for every hybrid it sold because consumers won’t pay the entire $6,000 extra that it costs to produce a hybrid over its gas-powered counterpart. Never mind also that in the real world — outside of the Environmental Protection Agency’s tax-payer funded testing sites — hybrids don’t deliver anywhere close to the gas mileage that the agency attributes to them, as auto-writer Richard Burr reported in the Weekly Standard.
Bill Ford had given his word on hybrids and you could take that to the bank (ruptcy court). But hybrids have received such a thrashing in the market lately that even Ford was forced to take-off his green eye-shades and read the red-ink on the wall.
According to Art Spinella, the uber-auto analyst and President of CNW Marketing Research, hybrid sales every month this year have been down compared to the same time last year. Even sales of the Toyota Prius — the darling of the greens — have dropped significantly. The only segment besides taxis where hybrids are still holding steady