Ford marketing guru Jim Farley notoriously lives to “f— GM.” Today’s PR coup that Ford is teaming with Toyota to produce an uber-hybrid for pickup tricks is no doubt evidence of that.
It is also evidence that Barack Obama’s claim that electrics are the future is bunk.
If hybrid trucks were the future, Ford and Toyota would be in separate war rooms working to beat the other to market. Ever heard of Toyota and Ford collaborating on fuel-injection systems for their hot-selling, gas-powered Camry and Fusion sedans? That would be a cold day in hell.
This is a partnership born of government regulation, and pooling the costs needed to satisfy these regulations by 2025.
“They need to develop more powerful systems for trucks that tow and haul heavy loads,” reports today’s Detroit News. “Hybrid trucks would help the automakers meet higher future government fuel economy and pollution standards in the United States.”
The “need” in other words is government- — not consumer- — driven. Best to team up and reduce development costs on the pricey technologies should they ever be needed. In the meantime, sales for the “vehicles of the future” — especially hybrid trucks — are in the tank as consumers shun alternatives to the popular gas engine.
American manufacturers may be fighting a slow economy, but the Obama administration is determined to sink them with new regulations (already totaling $50 billion to meet the imminent 35.5 mpg by 2015 mandate). The Toyota-Ford partnership shares the pain.