Jumpstart Ford coalition has message for new Ford boss

A coalition of environmental groups upset at Bill Ford's leadership at Ford Motor Company issued a statement following the announcment that Allan Mulally will replace Ford as CEO. The message from Sarah Connolly of Rainforest Action Network and Mike Hudema of Global Exchange called on Mulally to deliver on Ford's "broken promises" to wean the company from gas-guzzlers. The two are co-directors of the Jumpstart Ford Campaign, which was launched in 2003 and targets Ford because the EPA ranks Ford vehicles as having the worst overall fuel economy among American automakers. Here's the entire statement:

"Ford's chronic over-reliance on gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs in an era of soaring gas prices has left the company in financial ruin, so today's leadership change comes as no surprise. The only question is whether Allan Mulally will be able to deliver on his predecessor's broken promises and reverse the company's economically devastating downward spiral of oil addiction.

"The best hope to position Ford as a competitive automaker in the 21st century is for the company to lead the industry in fuel economy standards. Mr. Mulally could start by building the most efficient vehicles in America – plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Former CEO Bill Ford Jr. had a knack for saying the right thing, but Ford needs a CEO who is truly willing to make bold moves.

"If Mr. Mulally is going to fix Ford's problems he will only do so by increasing fuel efficiency in his fleet and reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions. Time will tell if Mr. Mulally is up to the challenge."

The announcement was a surprise, if not a shock, to many in the Ford organization, so change probably isn't going to happen soon. Since he's an outsider, Mulally isn't going to alter future product plans anytime soon. Besides, Mark Fields is the person in charge of North American product. Just how soon Mulally meets with his top engineers, designers and marketing officials to sign off on future plans isn't known. We'll have a better idea of his direction at the Detroit Auto Show when the company usually makes its most important announcements.

[Source: Jumpstart Ford]

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