Considering Chrysler and GM are backed by the U.S. government, where does this leave Ford? Is Ford strong enough on its own in this current economy to bring to fruition hybrids, HEV, plug-in hybrids, PHEV and pure electric vehicles, EVs?
The gist is that if Ford has been able to maneuver the murky waters of this economy without government help, where does it leave them against GM and Chrysler once they eventually come out of bankruptcy backed by the U.S. government? Some of the answer might lie in Europe.
The Current State. Considering that General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC are in line to get $62 billion in investments from the Treasury Department, how will Ford continue its market lead against such forces? Source: WSJ.
Europe, Treading Between Free and Subsidized Markets. France might have part of the answer where two automobile giants operate, one under direct supervision of the government, the other, more or less without subsidies. Indeed, if Renault is subsidized by the French government, the Peugeot group, which includes Citroen isn’t, yet both manage to operate. So how would Ford deal against two more or less subsidized other makers?
Tipping The Balance. Despite what car makers want, they have to contend with what the U.S. government wants, which is probably trying to walk a fine line between owning car makers and helping them through a difficult time. The fact that GMAC is backed up by the U.S. government might give GM and Chrysler an unfair advantage. However, this hasn’t ruined Peugeot in Europe, even if the company has received subventions in the past.
So far, it looks as if Ford has made all the right moves, associated itself with Magna who is staged to become a key player in the EV field. The announcement of electrifying the Ford Focus, via Magna‘s original work, while Ford is still betting on smaller more fuel efficient engines make it seem the company is finding the sweet spot between profitability and innovations. However, Ford still needs to find more partners and especially more investors. We will witness some interesting times ahead.