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The Split Personalities of Ford (USA vs. Europe)

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While Ford is losing billions and watching its market share shrink in the US, it is introducing really efficient cars in Europe, like the 63.6 MPG ECOnetic Diesel Fiesta. If Ford was to introduce this car in North-America, even at a loss, even in small numbers, it would help it regain momentum and credibility, kind of like how the Toyota Prius hybrid (over 1 million units sold) probably wasn't very profitable (if at all) at first, but it paved the way for what followed.

Ford Fiesta ECOnetic photo

Now of course Ford will respond that it is bringing the Fiesta to North-America. Just wait a year and a half (if all goes well).

But by that time, will Ford be trying to catch up to plug-in hybrids (like the GM Volt, or the BYD F6DM and F3DM from China) or with electric cars (like Tesla's more affordable Model S, or Mitsubishi's i MiEV)?

Even Google is investing in plug-in vehicles!

Mitsubishi Electric Car i MiEV photo

Sometimes you have to make bold moves. Of course, when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging, and Ford seems to be doing that by slashing SUV production and re-tooling some factories for small car production. But will it be fast enough? The signs of a sea change in the car markets have been around for years. Ford can't afford to wait anymore; it needs to reconcile its European division with its North-American operations and offer American drivers some real choices of efficient cars and stop hoping a return to the days of $10 oil and huge Explorers.

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