Um, never mind…

Hoping to enjoy Tesla’s unjustifiably lofty stock prices, for the last couple years Ford and just about every other auto manufacturer has been trying to channel Tesla with promises of soon to appear fleets of electric cars that would even drive themselves. The stock market didn’t budge.

Then GM quietly delivered on quiet promises to bring diesel powered versions of the Cruze compact sedan and even a compact crossover to market to complement the diesel midsize pickups. Heck, the Canyon/Colorado’s 4 cylinder diesel even found it way into the leftover from the last millennia full size vans. Topping that, they announced a 3 liter 6 cylinder diesel for the upcoming full size half ton pickup. Meanwhile, Volt sales have been dropping and the only thing keeping the all electric Volt assembly line barely moving is Tesla’s pretty much failure to supply their competing Model 3.

Eyeing these developments in the “Ren Cen” from their “glass tower” digs in Dearborn, Ford top management de jour was no doubt concerned. Ford stock neither taking flight nor crashing, they rolled in a new CEO who promised even more progress toward the holy grail of electrification and autonomy. Then they made major ripples by quietly announcing a diesel powered upgrade to the Transit Connect van at the Chicago Auto Show and Ford repeated that announcement with the panel van version at the Work Truck Show, and little else.

Again, Ford stock failed to fly from it’s undervalued slumber.

So looks like they anointed a committee to come up with a new plan, and today they presented it. And like any good committee, they came up with a plan to do everything: Hybrids available with everything, even more hybrids than Toyota. Electrification too, even an exclusive platform for electric pod cars or whatever. Same with automatic emergency braking, and future Fords will probably even stop and back up to pick up lost  pacifiers too.

But the key here is the platforms, or shortage of same. Now for a long while I’ve felt Ford had too many platforms, but this is going a bit far, here are the surviving platforms:

Front Wheel Drive Unibody: Yup, there will be just one FWD platform to carry the Fiesta/EcoSport, Focus, Fusion/Escape, Taurus/Explorer, Transit Connect, C-Max, and a few more I forgot too. Methinks this will be a bit of a stretch…

Rear Wheel Drive Unibody: Did I mention Ford says they’re going to reduce costs too? Good luck with that! The AU Falcon having been recently “laid down”, looks like the Mustang platform will be around for another half century, should be humorous to see them try to morph the Mustang into a sedan…

Van Unibody: At least the Transit, after Ford taking a half century to sponsor their green card to make it to America, ain’t gonna get trashed.

Body on Frame: The fugitive from the last millennia hack’d off Econolines get a stay of execution, and of course the F series has eternal life. But after finally making it home after a near decade’s exile abroad, looks like the Ranger and BOF Bronco/Everest will only be around ’til the next generation. Yup, the Ford PR machine is getting all fired up to launch the Ranger and Bronco  and they’ve already been End of Lifed… Maybe that explains the disappearance of the promised Ranger diesel.

Battery Electric Vehicles: Batteries make lousy structural members, this should be amusing. And given that it’s taken years for market leaders GM and Tesla to even approach 200,000 plug in cars, a massive wasted investment.

The market almost reacted, with Ford stock rising a whole 2% in the minutes after the announcement was made, then dropping at close to about where it began the day. Maybe the stock market ain’t that dumb- Ford just forgot that half their sales are in markets that would choke on an F150 and announced that 90% of their American sales would be trucks and SUVs. For our friends around the world that buy Fiestas and Focuses, Ford forgot you and thinks you’ll accept either an overweight Fiesta or an overloaded Explorer, cause they’ll both be built from the same underbody bits. And for the big truck lovers that were hoping that Ford would re-enter the big rig market, Ford promises collision avoidance on their “top o’ the line” F750 but forget about tandem axles or 10+ liter engines. Ford’s big truck specialists, the Koc family in Turkey, might want to start looking for a new partner after the better part of a century with Ford…

And me? My ride with Ford is over, guess it’s time to dump my half a Fiesta’s worth of Ford stock and forget about the orphaned before arrival new Ranger…

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