Bill Ford Goes to Congress

Thanks to online buddy Doug for pointing me to this news:

Ford chairman and CEO Bill Ford has called on the US government to do more to support domestic manufacturing and to give tax credits to car makers to incentivize the development of more environmentally friendly cars….

The Ford boss set out six measures for future auto industry/government cooperation to facilitate the successful development of greener cars. In addition to tax breaks, Mr Ford said that government needed to invest more in the education and training of workers involved in the development of new auto technologies, needed to support and expand the infrastructure development for ethanol powered vehicles and should lead by example by only using hybrid cars by 2010.

“I believe that with the right investments, AmericaΒ– and the American manufacturing sector can win. It can maintain its leadership stature in the world. And we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil. All at the same time. But we can’t get there alone,” Bill Ford said.

I’ve got mixed feelings on this. While I do believe government investment is necessary to spur the development of a greener economy, part of me wants to wag my finger at Mr. Ford and his US colleagues for once again missing the boat when Japanese automakers started developing hybrids and other next-generation automotive technologies. At what point will our car manufacturers recognize that looking beyond this quarter’s profit reports is necessary to stay competitive? We do need investments, but despite the rhetoric, I’m not convinced that such investment should be directed towards companies like Ford…

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