Posted by: David Kiley on January 9, 2008
Ford Americas president Mark Fields says that Ford is centering its products plans on gas staying above $3.00 a gallon and probably above $3.50 per gallon.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally says that the trend of full sized SUV shifting lighrer car-based platforms will continue, but that body-on-frame truck-based SUVs won’t become extinct.
“Our plans are built around gas prices at or above where they are now, and doing what we can to raise fuel economy and lower carbon emissions anyway we can as good stewards of the planet,” said Mulally at a dinner with reporters. If gas prices retreated, said Mulally, which isn’t likely, Ford just doesn’t see a demand returning to big gas thirsty vehicles.
The new energy bill, which raises Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards to 35 mpg by 2020 anyway, means that every vehicle has to go through a filter of fuel economy boosting technology and engineering no matter what it is.
Though a small increase, the 2009 F Series pickup gained 1 mpg in fuel economy. However, because of low demand, Ford won’t be offering a six cylinder engine option in the new F Series truck. The next Explorer, say Ford execs, will be a unibody, car-based vehicle with Ford’s Eco-boost engine technology.