Ford accused of coming back on earlier environmental engagements
Ford is targeted by a campaign in the USA accusing the car manufacturer to come back on earlier environmental statements and engagements and to exert pressure to modify the future consumption regulations for passenger cars.
A petition signed by 250.000 people has been deposed at Ford’s headquarters by activist groups like Greenpeace, Public Citizen, Sierra Club… Madeline Page of Public Citizen has accused the number 2 American car manufacturer of “even being more hypocrite than its fellow American car makers GM and FCA (Fiat Chrysler).
Apparently Ford is lobbying to change the so-called CAFE regulations (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) established by the Obama administration for 2022-2025 and now under scrutiny of the Trump government. At the moment the regulations foresee a gradual decrease of fuel consumption to reach an average of 54,5 mpg (4,32 l/100 km) in 2025.
Ford replies that it doesn’t want to abolish the regulations, it just wants to change them to have one general rule in the whole US. At the moment the state of California, for example, can inflict even more stringent rules at its own authority.
“We don’t want to go back”, says Ford’s spokeswoman Christine Barker, “we want one rule for everybody and the necessary flexibility to offer less costly solutions at our customers.” She underlined that Ford wants to reduce CO2 emissions, as stipulated in the Paris Climate Agreement.
Change of strategy
This lobbying of Ford is related to the change of strategy Ford announced earlier this year. In order to respond better to the tastes and needs of the American customer, Ford will now focus on trucks (pickups) SUVs and crossovers and abandon the production of smaller cars and sedans gradually.
These cars have on average a higher fuel consumption, so it’s understandable why Ford wants to change CAFE regulations. “We will no longer invest in smaller cars for North America because of the fall in demand and because those products are far less profitable”, Ford concludes.