Friday, July 24, 2009

Could I Sell You A Ford Fusion Hybrid?

There was good news for Ford stockholders yesterday when Ford announced upwards of 2 billion in profit in the last quarter. That means it's possible for American business to turn a profit the old-fashioned and traditional way--without being nationalized by the U.S. government.

Ford stock jumped .60 cents yesterday and closed at 6.98, well higher than the $2 stock it was several months ago. Ford is managing this even while the Obama team is using taxpayer money to flush generous subsidies (for rebates and buying incentives) down the toilet in order to compete with Ford and the Japanese automakers.

Of course, the bottom line is cars and Ford has been making the ones people want:

The Ford Flex sold many more units than expected though the price is a bit steep for people like myself.

The Ford F-150 continues to be the top of the line in full-size trucks and is vastly superior to its competitors. The price for the new Ford F-150s is not cheap either but the mileage ratings have improved to 20 or 21 on the highway--that's very good for a big truck with fully boxed frame and tough safety features.

The Japanese are trying hard to sell their more expensive vehicles to people who have been tolerably brainwashed by European inspired auto magazines. The Tacoma is a top seller with a top price, and the full-size Tundra is lagging with its sensitive skin which tends to fall apart under heavy pounding. I don't want to bash the Japanese; they're also making cars without government help and the U.S. auto industry owes them a lot of establishing higher standards of quality during the 80s. The Japanese have also made wonderful innovations in manufacturing which have had a positive effect on U.S. car makers.

But here's the thing. I think the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight are great cars but they reek of sandalwood and Birkenstock sandals. Small and egg-shaped, they would seem perfect for tooling around Mall parking lots but, when you see them puffing along in heavy highway traffic next to sixteen-wheelers and crazy motorheads, you, thanks.

Which explains why the Ford Fusion Hybrid is selling well in spite of its higher price. For that matter, the regular gas powered Fusion gets 33 mpg and neither does driving it make it appear as if Woodstock was the high point of your life. The Ford Fusion is a good-looking car, has good handling, adequate power, and a "real-car" design that is only vaguely reminiscent of its heritage.

So, buy a Ford. If you don't want to buy a Ford, buy a Japanese vehicle made in the U.S. and employing American workers. That's what I think, anyway.

I'm burning mad about the Obama government bailouts for bankruptcy, don't you know?

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