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Ford CEO says they could build a Tesla if they wanted to
October 24, 2014 - by Guy Wright
(old Ford electric quadra-cycle)
During a conference call today with Wall Street investment analysts and reporters, Ford’s CEO Mark Fields said that Ford could build a ‘Tesla Model S’-like vehicle if it wanted to.
Fields said that such a car would be “consistent with our product philosophy,” and added that the company has already been studying a Tesla Model S.
“We drove it. We took it apart. We put it back together and we drove it again,” he said.
The question, however, is even if Ford could build their own version of the Tesla Model S, could they actually sell them. In spite of extensive price cuts to the Ford Focus Electric so far the company has only managed to sell fewer than 4,000 of its only all-electric vehicle since it first hit the showrooms in 2011 (Tesla has sold roughly 25,000 Model S cars world wide).
Now hovering around $30K the Focus Electric boasts a range of somewhere just south of 80 miles while the Tesla Model S can go roughly 220 miles with the standard 60-kwh battery and about 280 miles if you spring for the optional 85-kwh battery for $10K more. Of course the Tesla Model S (with the beefed up battery) will set you back about $80K.
And of course the Tesla Model S looks like a luxury car while the Focus looks like a…well, a little electric car.
Fields’ comments remind me of that person who performed the first back flip on skis that was featured in a television commercial many years ago. Until he did it everyone would have sworn that the trick was impossible. Today Olympic skiers are doing quadruple back-spinning twisty impossible tricks that go far beyond a simple backflip.
Go back in time and ask Fields if it was possible to build a luxury all-electric car that could go faster than 100mph and travel nearly 300 miles on a single charge he would have told you it was impossible.
Now that Tesla has proven that it can be done Fields comments sound a bit like “Okay yea, I guess you could build a car like that if you did it that way.” And “We could have built one like that if we wanted to, we just didn’t want to.”
Yeah, yeah ... that's the ticket!
Fields: Ford has expertise to do Tesla-like car
James R. Healey October 24, 2014
Ford said it has no plan to emulate the Tesla Model S -- a big, four-door hatchback sedan. But a larger vehicle of some kind, with greater range and better performance than the Focus electric, would fit Ford’s lineup and its emphasis on technology, the automaker said.
[image] (fields Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Ford CEO Mark Fields said the company has the expertise and ability to build a Tesla-style full-size, high-tech, high-performance, long-range electric vehicle.
Fields stopped short of saying Ford will do so, but did say, “It’s consistent with our product philosophy.”
Ford’s only all-electric is the small Focus electric. It also sells plug-in hybrids.
Fields made the Tesla comment Friday during a conference call with Wall Street investment analysts and reporters following Ford’s third quarter earnings announcement.
Ford said it has no plan to emulate the Tesla Model S — a big, four-door hatchback sedan. But a larger vehicle of some kind, with greater range and better performance than the Focus electric, would fit Ford’s lineup and its emphasis on technology, the automaker said.
In the conference call, Fields said Ford has the engineering and manufacturing sophistication to do such a model, with the range and quickness that characterize the Model S.
Ford has a Tesla Model S and, Fields said, “We drove it. We took it apart. We put it back together and we drove it again.”
[© 2014 www.freep.com]
Ford CEO Says They Could Build A Tesla Too
Having invested more into plug-in hybrids than battery electric cars, Ford seems to have ceded the market to more serious contenders for now. But new CEO Mark Fields told USA Today that Ford could built an electric car to compete with Tesla, and such a product would be “consistent with our product philosophy.”
Fields replaced Alan Mulally this summer after the former Boeing CEO gave Ford a top-to-bottom makeover that included shrugging off all but two brands and cutting down on the number of platforms to just a few. But one area Mulally seemed disinterested in was pure electric vehicles, giving the Focus Electric a tiny marketing budget but one of the highest MSRPs at $39,995. Ford has since slashed $10,000 off the price of its sole electric car, but it’s done measurably more to promote its two plug-in hybrid models, the Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi.
In a conference call to investors on Friday, Fields said his company could build a larger all-electric sedan with the performance to match the Model S, though it wouldn’t be a hatchback like the Tesla, but it would fit Ford’s core mission of focusing on high-tech vehicles. While not confirming the company was working towards this goal, he did admit that Ford engineers had bought a Tesla Model S, driven it and taken it apart before putting it back together. GM was also caught testing a Tesla against the Cadillac ELR, demonstrating that conventional automakers are just as intrigued by Elon Musk’s electric car as the general buying public.
Ford recently fought Tesla over the Model E trademark, though it’s hard to imagine any car in the current Ford lineup being easily converted into an EV. Perhaps the most promising idea is to build a battery electric vehicle for Lincoln on a dedicated platform, which would allow Ford to charge a premium price, fill the role of being a Tesla competitor, and give the droll Lincoln lineup a desperately needed halo model to give people something to talk about. Ford has taken a lot of steps in the name of going green, but their vehicle lineup is still overly-reliant on fossil fuels.
Ford CEO: We have expertise to do Tesla-like vehicle
Ford: We have expertise to do Tesla-like car
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