Hello Bandwagon, it's us, Ford Motor Company.
Today I was listening to NPR on my drive to campus. I stopped faithfully listening to NPR in December when they went two weeks straight talking only about the Big 3 auto bailout. A girl can only take so much outrage before tuning out. It's called avoidance, and it's a proven effect of mass media.
Today on NPR they were discussing, surprise, more auto industry news. The announcers were cheerily discussing the new deal between Ford and Johnson Controls in which JCI will produce batteries for Ford's new hybrid Escape. The announcers were talking about this as if it were the greatest thing since sliced bread, and I couldn't help but wonder (to borrow the rhetoric of our friend, Carrie Bradshaw) why everyone is celebrating Ford's poor foresight. Because celebrating Ford finally jumping on the hybrid bandwagon is just that - poor foresight on the part of Ford management. Only now, in the midst of a recession and in staring bankruptcy in the face, is Ford finally producing cars for the future.
Nevermind that hybrid technology has been in existence for the past couple of decades. Nevermind that Toyota is killing in market share for hybrid cars because they've been perfecting their technology for the past 10 years. This never mattered to Ford before; they simply continued producing their Escapes and F150's. Now Sue Cischke, Ford group vice president, stated in the NPR interview, "We are at the point where we need to work with the battery supply base, the utility industry and the government in order to find ways to make electrified vehicles an affordable proposition for consumers."
No, Ford, had you enough foresight and competitive intelligence you would've realized that you were at that point a decade ago. Why don't you just make it easier on yourselves this late in the game and borrow from Toyota's history. Work with the government to provide a tax incentive for those who purchase your hybrid vehicles. It's been done before (yes, I am the recipient of the Toyota tax incentive), and it'll be easy to copy the legslation for you. All you need to do is open it in Microsoft Word and use the "replace all" function to change all mentions of "Toyota" to "Ford." Your welcome.