Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Media Hates American Cars

The Ford Fusion Hybrid has proven it can get up to 81 miles to the gallon (and not just by hypermilers that are driving in Nebraska at 20 mph)

Read about it Here

A domestic automobile company has produced a car that has guts, is comfortable and dare I say- ecofriendly and fuel efficient, but where is the story? Why isn't this front page news?

Americans want to like American cars- we want to believe in American goods, we just need a reason to have faith in Detroit.

Ford has produced a pretty darn good reason for faith in their product and the American way- it shouldn't be too suprising that the powers that be would like to ignore it.


adam said...

If Ford has been making good cars, and I need a new car, I would totally buy one. I just want a good car.

Unless you can somehow prove that Consumer Reports is actually some kind of media conspiracy, I don't see how the Explorer is better than the Rav or CRV, for example. American cars, in general are not rated as good. If that is changing, then great! If the so-called "media" is covering up their improvements, then I applaud you for spreading the word.

Salt H2O said...

The point is GM and Chrystler are in the news daily for their failures.

Ford just had a major success-

We need to hear good news about American made goods, and an industry in which we have lost faith- this is good news.

Allie said...

It would take a lot to get me past my negative associations with american made cars.

I had a Ford Explorer once (I married into it, I didn't buy it) that the door handle fell off when I shut the door.

I'm also a consumer reports sort of person, so if they said a Ford, Chevy, or GM car was all that and a bag of chips, I might believe them. Maybe.

Steve said...

One car doesn't change decades of failure. GM had practically the same car over 10 years ago, see Who Killed the Electric Car. If American car companies made as good of quality cars as the foreign ones the past 20 years, ie lasting 10+ years and costing under $20k, then they wouldn't be in this boat. Also, they have been OVER producing for decades, trying to get us to buy or even worse, lease!, a car every 3-4 years, which is a big waste of money. We have enough cars in supply for the next 5-10 years even if they shut down ALL their factories.

Also, with globalization, "American" car companies is relative. A lot of the parts (suppliers) come from overseas for Fords, GMs, etc. and lots of foreign companies build their cars here in the US, especially Toyota and Hyundai.

I say, let them all fail and we can all drive Smart Cars!

Happy The Man said...

Takes a good 5 years to gain a warm and fuzzy in reliability trends. Even longer if the brand has a history of putting out less than reliable junk.

The Prius and Hybrid Civic have been out for 10+ years (8+ in the US). They are lightyears ahead in confidence. People have been burned too many times by the big 3 and Toyota/Honda continue to impress in quality, reliability and affordability.

Salt H2O said...

Though I appreciate your comments, most of them miss the point of the post.

This isn't about consumer confidence, or whether or not we should be buying Ford- it's that when one of the big three is doing things right- the media is silent.

Allie- I still refer to the Explorer as the Exploder, and I don't think that any sort of PR will remove personal experience- however, when they come out with a product that is good- should the media ignore it?

Happy- How are we supose to get the warm and fuzzys when the media isn't reporting the good will? I agree, it will take years for this good will to rebuild but I ask- did you know Ford has a car that gets 81 miles to the gallon before you read my post?

Salt H2O said...

Where is your good nature? Your compassionate heart? Shouldn't the weak be assisted? Don't the stronger car companies have a moral responsibility to make sure the weaker ones survive? Because Toyota has had more ingenuity don't they then have an obligation to help those that haven't been as fortunate?

Why should the smartcar be allowed to prosper because it is indeed smarter while letting these other companies fail? Where is your sense of fairness? Equality? ~

Salt H2O said...

I should have given this HUGE disclaimer:

My husband works for Ford.

mj said...

I've actually read a lot about this car in the press, but to be fair I am one of those rare people that has had a positive experience with Ford as my Focus has been performing well since I bought it five years ago--so T'm probably more drawn to the articles. Still, I really don't think the media is hiding the info. If there is a problem with Fusion sales I'm sure it has a lot more to do with consumer confidence and the recession. I'm personally not buying a new car til the one I have starts dying, but if there are any used Fusions around and they are still raved about so highly I will definitely take a look.

davers said...

I was completely unaware of this fact, and I follow that kind of stuff. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

I agree that this should get headlines, and it has been ignored.

I'm anti-government, but I think this (buy American) is so very important enough to create a Department of Homeland Production. It would be responsible for determining the ratio of American vs. Foreign work put into it, which could then be used to provide incentives for stuff made here. It would also be responsible to make sure things like this were well publicized.

Sherpa said...

I've read a lot about Ford's successes in the press too lately. There isn't a media conspiracy trying to keep the big 3 down. Even if the "Big 3 Killed my Baby"

Happy The Man said...

I take 81.5 mpg with a grain of marketing salt considering the disclaimer "drivers trained in mileage-maximizing techniques". They could have just as easily gone with "9 out of 10 Dentists drive fusions".

41/36mpg is what they're willing to go on record with and that's not even as good as either Toyota or Honda, so where is the press in that?

Officially declare even just 50/60+ mpg (and stand by it) and no doubt they'll get the press you are expecting. And how much of this lack of buzz is on Ford for poor advertising? I haven't heardn or seen a single commercial, I didn't even know there was a "Green Fusion" (that has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?)

Lastly, maybe the media is like the rest of us, burned one too many times by American car companies, singing their praises only to later be mocked for being duped. Probably not, after all we are speaking of "the media", who is ever more interested in sensationalism than trying to get a story right.

Steve said...

Yeah, I don't see the media putting this down. The article you link to is in Edmunds and Car & Driver and other car review places review American cars ALL the time and give them good reviews.

The reason I have no sympathy for 'Detroit' is mainly b/c they have been crappy companies for years, always a day late and dollar short. In the 70's, they never responded to the need for smaller, more fuel efficient cars. In the 90's, they only pushed pimped out SUVs that are bigger than studio apartments, and now they are about 10 years behind on 'green' technology. We ALL should be driving hydrogen fuel cell cars by now; if only the companies were willing to work with the govt under Clinton to build the national infrastructure. However, they were happy we were all shelling out $30-40k on Exploders with giant wheels and DVD players. They could have easily taken over and locked up the American market from outsiders.

Since when does having human sympathy translate to corporate sensitivity?!?! Businesses, incorporated or not, are not people and SHOULD not be treated like personal entities. If the situation was Coke or Pepsi, I wouldn't feel any different. There are lots of better alternatives out there, including other businesses that benefit individuals, not CEOs and shareholders, that put in the hard work. Granted, thousands of people, like your husband, may be hurt by a lack of sympathy for the corporation they work for, but that is the choice one makes when choosing a profession. However, I do believe in the variety of employee friendly options to assist those individuals in case jobs and benefits be cut. THAT is where my sympathy lies.

Salt H2O said...


It's not about the media putting it down, it's just being ignored.

Corporations are made of people. It's not this intangible entity, go to Detroit and you see the faces of the corporation.

Since when does human sympathy translate into corporate sympathy? The logic is exactly the same, why should those that have applied themselves be responsible to support those who have not? Why should the innovators support the slackers?

In reality, I want no sympathy for the big 3- I think all people and corporations should be evaluated on what they produce. The strong should not be morally obligated to support the lazy.

Yes, I too believe that the Big 3 should be permitted to fail. I think anyone who squanders time and money should fail.

Luckily for me, and my husband- Ford isn't in the position for failure.

davers said...

In reading a lot of these comments I almost am hearing a retributive tone. Do you people not realize that retribution toward these companies punishes nobody but yourselves?

I also do not think that giving equal weight to all manufacturers American or foreign is non-conspiratorial. In fact it seems an effort must be made to do so ... when there are American successes they should be trumpeted over the successes of foreign manufacturers. This is how it works in every other country.

Why? Because it's local ... like your local news. Would you expect to listen to local news to learn solely about world events? No, such an idea is ludicrous. Similarly, it's no less ludicrous of an that our national media not focus on the successes of American countries.

Seriously, some of you need to get out of our country and see how press agencies run overseas. Being a patriot means giving preference to what's here - a fact that's ever increasingly ignored, if not disparaged.

davers said...

Yes, I should have given up. Should be:

"Similarly, it's no less ludicrous of an idea that our national media not focus on the successes of American companies."

(SaltyH2O - feel free to delete these - I don't mean to gunk up your comments section with mistakes)

Steve said...

I'm NOT disagreeing with you Salty! Truly! :) I think we just went out to left field.

I AM for the bailout b/c, like Davers even, I think the American companies are too intricate to our economy to fail. Would we survive if they did, probably, but why risk it? Personally, I may never buy an American car, but I'll probably never buy a Russian car for the same reasons, I don't spend my money on something that hasn't shown its worth to me.

Besides, outside of auto industry specific media, I don't see why this should be news. At best it is a "about time" story and worst, would sound like an infomercial inside the news, which sadly, is what most of it has already become.

You'd probably be a lot happier, I know I am, if you stop watching all the major news outlets altogether. You can get better and more accurate news, ie FACTS, from non-network news and especially online.