Ford has called in the FBI to help investigate possible espionage after a longtime engineer was recently fired. The FBI swept the offices and recovered several listening devices. Are truck/car “secrets” really that valuable?
Sources tell us, Ford is planning on opening its order banks on the new 2015 F-150 in the coming weeks. This move creates some interesting product timing issues for the new truck. As one of the most scrutinized truck launches in recent memory moves forward, is Ford making the right decisions?
With blaring music and all the pizzazz of a Hollywood movie premier, Ford unveiled it’s much anticipated Ford F-150. Here is what you need to know and a very interested observer’s take on it.
I feel sorry for the decision-makers at Ford. I’m not bagging on Ford (for the record, I think they deserve a hell of a lot of credit for being so bold), but their decision to use aluminum extensively in the upcoming F150 is the result of a terrible choice.
By my reckoning, Ford had only two options when it came to designing the next-gen F150:
Option #1 – Keep building the same great tried-and-true steel truck while using an increasing variety of tricks and fancy systems to squeeze out a few more MPG’s, or;
Option #2 – Take a big risk and be the first automaker to make a truck that extensively uses light-weight materials.
While option #2 is the most logical – weight loss is the best way to improve fuel economy and meet government-mandated fuel economy requirements – it’s easily the worst best choice available. I have no doubt that the first generation of aluminum F150s will be universally disliked by truck owners in the decades to come. This is not a commentary on Ford’s engineering talent. This is the inexorable conclusion I’ve been lead to based on all the available data. If you keep reading, I expect you’ll come to the same conclusion.
Perhaps class-action lawsuits are good for our society, but I’m not seeing much evidence of that. Instead, I’m seeing bogus class-action lawsuits levied with little cause at every turn. Toyota settled a class-action lawsuit for $1.6 billion earlier this year, despite the fact that no one has ever been able to prove Toyota’s electronic throttle systems have a flaw. The law firms behind that class-action suit supposedly earned about $200 million in fees for their efforts, begging the question as to whether this class-action lawsuit was legitimate.
Now let’s be clear – I’m not saying that the lawyers behind this class-action business are all a bunch of greedy, blood-sucking scum who perverted the legal system for their own financial gain. I’m just saying that I think that’s a motivation for some of the lawyers involved.
Unfortunately, it’s Ford’s turn to face their own class-action lawsuit with dubious value. Specifically, Ford is being sued because they failed to provide “instructions on ‘what to do’ should an [sudden acceleration] event occur could mean the difference between life and death” to owners of older Ford vehicles, while offering these instructions to newer vehicle owners.
That’s right – Ford is being sued because they updated their owners manuals.