The New York Auto Show
began, as most of them do, with a keynote speech from an auto executive. In this case, it was Alan Mulally, Ford
president and CEO, who talked about Ford (surprise!) and the future of the industry. The real short version is that he believes three main issues – the auto industry's opportunity to contribute to economic development, energy independence/security/efficiency and environmental sustainability – will "set the agenda for all of us going forward." Mulally said he thinks Ford's role in finding the solutions to these issues will be in helping to build the enabling technology, "but more importantly, it is going to be working together with all of the people that need to contribute and be part of the solution."
What is that enabling technology? Mulally said it had four main components:
- Making better internal combustion engines, where there is "so much room" to improve."
- Building more and more hybrids
- Continue the electrification of the vehicle.
- Keep hydrogen projects going for the day when there are incredibly efficient batteries and fuel cells working together.
It is these enabling technologies, along with the Internet and the minituarization of electronics and generating clean electricity that, "will create the world that we really want, which is economically growing, it's energy efficient and it's also environmentally sustainable." He also said that Ford will announce some colloborations that will "accelerate the creation of this system solution" later today. Stay tuned.