Ford CEO: More Cars in Cities “Not Going to Work”

It’s the last thing you would expect to hear at the Detroit Auto Show from the CEO of Ford Motor Company. But last week, Ford’s Alan Mulally showed some ambivalence about the role of cars in major cities.

At the Detroit Auto Show, Ford CEO Alan Mulally said he didn't think more cars could solve mobility problems in big cities. Image: ## Top News##
At the Detroit Auto Show, Ford CEO Alan Mulally said he doesn’t think more cars can solve mobility problems in big cities. Image: ## News##

“I think the most important thing is to look at the way the world is and where the world is going and to develop a plan,” Mulally said, according to the Financial Times. “We’re going to see more and more larger cities. Personal mobility is going to be of really ever-increasing importance to livable lifestyles in big cities.”

Mulally said Ford has been trying to adapt to changing consumer preferences since the Great Recession. Americans have been trading giant SUVs for smaller cars. Young people have been purchasing fewer cars altogether, a phenomenon Mulally said might be reversed by cheaper cars.

But he also said he wasn’t sure what role Ford would play in the future of transportation in big cities. According to the Financial Times, Mulally said that adding more cars in urban environments is “not going to work” and that he was interested in developments in “personal mobility” and “quality of life.” Then he seemed to indicate Ford is interested in getting into transit, car sharing, or other models that don’t align with private car ownership.

“Maybe [our focus] will be on components; maybe it’ll be on pieces of the equipment,” Mulally said. “I don’t know.”

65 thoughts on Ford CEO: More Cars in Cities “Not Going to Work”

  1. Car companies have spent billions on propaganda (car ads) that have used emotional transfer and repetition to create a mental soft spot in the consumer. Now that American cities look like Germany after the war and most people are living paycheck to paycheck in a dangerously polluted world, questions about how we “naturally feel” about these gadgets are not only normal, but healthy. We should have eliminated the vase majority of cars during the 80s.

  2. Why do streetsbloggers write entire fictions put direct quotes around them, then respond to them?

    I sense you are listening to voices in your head instead of reading what I wrote. Read it again.

    As to the average american driver…. well americans are great at saying one thing and doing another….

  3. On street parking isn’t really free if you are a resident. Why not? It’s a benefit of your property taxes (paid through rent or directly), as well as possibly a local vehicle tax or fee.

  4. That’s actually been the history of the automotive industry since the start, all the non-niche small makers were subsumed or died.

  5. I’ll give you one example to research in your own time. Deaths of small women and children due the unbelted average male standard for airbags. Go back to the 1970s when automakers figured this out.

  6. Then how do those residents who don’t own cars, or who pay for off street parking, apply for a refund of the relevant portion of their taxes?

  7. At least that paragraph holds together. Present your argument or don’t, it’s nothing to me, but you might as well save the homework assignments for people who trust you as an instructor.

  8. Your comprehension problem is not my responsibility. Now go look up Ford’s 1950s safety programs, or tempered glass in the 1930s… on and on it goes. Or maybe you should figure out where the government safety regulations were copied from in the 1960s… hint. Society of Automotive Engineers.

  9. Your unearned smugness is exceeded only by your inability to frame a persuasive argument, or indeed a coherent one.

  10. Ford will wait until it has no options left at all and then go bust.

    This is just the way businesses work. The “oil companies” are incapable of adjusting to a post-oil world, because of their executives’ mentality — they have enough money to transition, but they will refuse to do it.

  11. From parasitic drain. Something the BMS should have cut off well above the critical charge level. Self discharge to a bricked state on quality LiIon cells is years.

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