• Dec 2, 2008
Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 Escape Hybrid

Ford CEO Alan Mulally has made the politically correct decision for his return trip to Washington DC this week and is skipping the company jet. In fact, he's skipping the airport altogether and hitting the road in an Escape Hybrid. It seems like it would have been better to grab one of the brand new Fusion Hybrids, but no one in Washington should be too upset at the choice of the Escape. The last one we tested for AutoblogGreen averaged 33 mpg. Perhaps he'll even take one of the prototype plug-in hybrid versions, although that wouldn't make much sense for the nine-hour drive. In our reader poll you actually opted for the Fusion by a wide margin, followed by the Fiesta and Mustang. The Escape came in at a respectable fourth.


[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]
Photos Copyright ©2008 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 51 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      BOLD MOVES
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Escape is screwed together in the US by the UAW. The Fusion is screwed together in Mexico.

      When you're going to Washington to ask Democrats for money, you show up in a car your union backers and your American-jobs-ers will like.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If he had any balls he'd take a Ford GT.

        • 6 Years Ago
        because the Ford GT resembles what? the few people that can afford to buy an insanely fast 200K dollar 8 MPG supercar?
      • 6 Years Ago
      A laughably predictable response to the previous criticism. This is a beautiful example of how these dinosaurs are incapable of learning what the public wants.
      It's pandering, pure and simple.
        • 6 Years Ago
        ...so they should use the private jets again?

        Yes it is predictable but this meaningless act is a necessary gesture in response to the public flogging he received for using a private jet.

        What do you suggest he do? Of course, please limit the conversation to to the issue at hand...travel from point A (Detroit) to point B (DC). We could go on for ever about the myriad problems Ford needs to address. Hopefully he fills the cargo hold with a detailed recovery plan.

        A bus would be the ultimate symbolic gesture.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I like to imagine him packing snacks and making a road trip CD before he leaves.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Mustang Sally" would have to be on that CD.

        Right after "Radar Love".
      • 6 Years Ago
      What a pansy. If he had any balls he would have driven a F350 Duely with a trailer that read "UAW. Help me unload this dead weight." on it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wagoner should drive a Volt...show some real dedication spending 40 hours of wasted time on the trip(incuding recharging every 40 miles) instead of 20 in a petrol/hybrid.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Rick will be driving a Chevrolet Malibu hybrid.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Volt is a hybrid. He could recharge every 40 miles but that defeats the purpose of the car. Besides I don't think it (Volt) is ready for prime time just yet. Driving it and getting stranded would be some really bad PR right now and kill the program before it even starts. Maybe he could drive that mock up from the Transformers movie and pretend it is the real deal. After all, this is just a PR stunt to begin with.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's good to see at least ONE of the CEO's making a decision that isn't completely boneheaded.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think congress should grill Mulally on why he is wasting 18hrs driving, when he should be back in Dearborn making executive decisions with his team. Flying first-class would have been a reasonable compromise.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It takes 18 hours to drive Detroit to DC? Try 1/2 that at 9 hours. I wager it takes just as long to fly when you add in travel to airport, security, waiting for baggage, etc. Also, who said HE will be driving? Could be working in the back seat while someone else drives the car. I am sure he has a laptop and a cell phone.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mulally seems to be a pretty smart guy. He get's a bad rap because of the condition Ford is in but he hasn't been with them that long and you have to remember Ford is only there to "me too" any money that's offered. Unlike GM and Chrysler Ford has enough cash to last quite a while thanks to Mulally. We are just now starting to see the results of the changes he has made as their boss and they are looking good. He also pulled off a profit at Ford in the beginning of this year. As for his corporate jet it was part of the deal the company made to lure him away from Boeing. He has a family that has laid down roots in Seattle and he chose to spend hours every week commuting rather than uproot them. On the other hand his whole family shouldn't have access to the jets to fly whenever and where ever they please.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It would be kind of funny if he got a ticket while doing the drive. His income would slip into the negative.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Anyone complaining that he cant be working while traveling is making a really good argument for the use of a private jet.

        If his time is that valuable why should he not have his entire staff with him in a flying office?

        You cant have it both ways.

        Flying commercially offers less opportunity for conducting business than driving and far less than a private jet. Unless he is doing some spreadsheets or something- what can he do on a airplane without the use of a cellphone and with no privacy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        He just took a $1 salary for next year. I kind of like this guy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        And nobody can complain because that's what Obama drives.

        Smart move.
        • 6 Years Ago
        This is a bullsh!t decision based only on the fact that they want the money and don't want to be questioned about their jets again. Do you really think he's doing it for any other reason?

        Effin hypocrites should just be left to sink or swim.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mulally also makes a point towards the next administration. Barack Obama drives a hybrid Escape.

        (OK, used to drive one before security kicked in, but still....)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Before you fellate Mulally too much - His personal car is a Lexus.

        I think it's funny as f*ck that one of the CEOs of the big 3 doesn't even drive a car his company makes.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Obama owns one of these, so never hurts to suck up to the big guy a bit.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Obama is not President yet. I can understand your confusion given that the Media has treated him as such since the election.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Dude

        I think the media is just excited to call someone "President" since we haven't had one for the past 7 years 10 months! Or one that deserves the job anyway!

        Here comes the wrath of blog slaps! ;)
        • 6 Years Ago
        The only bogus thing is the bogus president seating in the oval office. Who BTW is all too happy and relieved to let a real president take charge even before his inauguration.

        Even though I voted for the Fusion, knowing very well that it wouldn't be it since I don't see how there could be road worthy Fusion hybrid yet, I think that the Escape is a fantastic choice
        • 6 Years Ago
        Randy,

        you took the words right out of my mouth! I hate to beat a dead horse (Bush) by continuing the ridicule, but it wouldn't be far from accurate to say he mentally left office about a couple months ago.

        anyway the Escape is a good choice, but I think Mulally should've driven the Fusion Hybrid.. The Big 3 need to prove that they can make good CARS, and even though they've been doing so lately, it's not common knowledge. Their cars need to get more exposure so they become household names (like Camry and Accord), and gain the consumer's trust
        • 6 Years Ago
        But he is the occupant of the bogus "Office of the President-Elect".
      • 6 Years Ago
      The most effecient way for all three to get there would be in a pair of Waggoner's full-size GM hybrid SUV's. Each of them seat eight. That way they could have their assistants and security people with them too.
        • 6 Years Ago
        And a big boot for stacks of cash :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      There! Nice millionare executive! Good job! Nice symbolic PC way to show up begging for bilions! Here is your treat, compliments of the already overburdoned and sinking middle class.
      • 6 Years Ago
      And why shouldn't he? Nothing would show a skeptical Congress the future potential of Ford and the Detroit 3 better than a demonstration of near-horizon products. As the legendary Charles Lindbergh once pointed out, the way to convince bankers of the value and potential of aviation wasn't to meet with them in their offices, but instead to show them the aircraft out on the airfield.

      Mulally's "road trip" if true, should ramp up the pressure on the other Detroit 3 CEOs to join the "Drive on Washington."


      http://speedzzter.blogspot.com/2008/12/mulally-dura-automotive-making-drive-on.html
        • 6 Years Ago
        Great point.

        If the automakers really consider this a loan and not a bailout, they should treat it as such.

        If one goes to a bank and asks for a business loan they must present a business plan and show how the bank will be making a good investment. This should be no different. They failed to do this the first time around. Instead the automakers chose to try and muscle a loan through fear and basically extortion, rather than showing future products, innovation, steps forward. New ideas.

        They should have presented some problems they need assistance with - legacy costs, UAW issues, etc etc. Then present some suggested fixes to the problems. Maybe government can assist by removing some barriers rather than financially. Maybe the financial piece is only one aspect. They should have got the populous excited and behind them through examples of innovation and moving forward.

        Hopefully they come more prepared this time.
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