President Trump has been in office for over a week now, and his efforts to motivate automakers to manufacture vehicles in the U.S. have so far been met with controversy and mixed results. There’s been a substantial amount of press over Ford’s decision to cancel a $1.6 billion assembly plant in Mexico, while still moving small-car production (notably, the Ford Focus) to Ford’s existing Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly plant. The Ford Focus has been in the spotlight, but it’s worth noting that there are many more models that could be affected by Trump’s theoretical 35% tariff. In fact, the automotive industry in Mexico has had a long and stable history. Continue reading >>>
If you’ve ever heard comedian Jim Gaffigan talk about bacon, you know his bacon bit goes on for an uncomfortably long time.
The man loves bacon, as do most citizens of these great United States.
Some of the bacon-related things we obsess over are the sound of bacon cooking (like applause, according to Mr. Gaffigan), the hunt for bits o’ bacon in lettuce, Kevin Bacon and the ability to wrap almost anything in bacon to make it better. People love bacon.
And, now, buyers of a certain car can opt to have it wrapped in… bacon. Because that can only make it better, right?
In my book, many interesting conversations can be had using the words “turbochargers” and “superchargers.”
In a conversation with a friend this weekend, though, my mention of the words were met with a blank stare. I guess not everyone is into cars or even terribly knowledgeable about what makes them tick.
Our talk began with a question. My friend asked, “What do you think of electric cars?”
Well, that’s quite the can o’ worms in my world, and talking through the answer took the better part of the next 30 minutes. We discussed everything from the environmental impact of battery manufacturing to electricity production to supporting infrastructure to the mechanics of how superchargers and turbochargers work in gas and diesel engines. Of course, my bottom-line answer to her question was this: Electrics have the right idea in saving fuel, I’m just not convinced of their execution. I’d prefer to go with an economical turbo gas or diesel vehicle.
Like maybe the 2014 Ford Fiesta, with a 1.0-liter EcoBoost 3-cylinder.
Two recent developments from Dearborn could be used to make the case that Ford has gone crazy.
Or to affirm the fact that the people running Ford are geniuses.
If a company decides to eliminate its name from advertising, well, why bother advertising, right? Naturally, if someone brought up that idea in a marketing meeting, he or she would be labeled as crazy and promptly fired.
“You know, Mr. Mulally, I think for our next corporate ad campaign we should avoid the word ‘Ford’ and quite possibly not show our logo, either.”
That same guy is probably the one who recommended a motorcycle engine for the next Fiesta, too.
But, you know, both ideas kind of make sense.