Ford wants to be a force in cleaning up the way we drive

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Pollution, smoggy air – hot button issues in China and sensitive ones. Earlier this year, a documentary on smog was pulled off the Internet after it went viral. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS

Ford wants to be a force in cleaning up the way we drive

Pollution, smoggy air – hot button issues in China and sensitive ones.

Earlier this year, a documentary on smog was pulled off the Internet after it went viral.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REPORTER, JANE LANHEE LEE, SAYING:

“So how are carmakers dealing with the issue? I caught up…”

…with the great-grandson of Henry Ford, William Clay Ford Junior – executive chairman of Ford Motor Company.

He’s known for being an avid environmentalist, so how does he feel about pollution turning some people away from cars?

(SOUNDBITE) (English) EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, FORD MOTOR COMPANY, WILLIAM CLAY FORD JR., SAYING:

“Well I think first of all that most of the pollution we see are not generated by cars. And that’s just a fact. But we’re also – and I am particularly sensitive to making sure that we remove all the barriers for people to love cars. The whole idea of driving in major cities, that notion will change over time. And we’re actually helping lead that change. Cars talking to other cars so that you optimize traffic flow. Cars talking to the infrastructure around it. So again to make sure that all the traffic is moving in a well-integrated way. Where real-time data is used. All those kinds of things will help. But, we’re also seeing things like fractional ownership in cars, access to things like Lyft and Uber. All that will change the way people access vehicles and I’m very excited by it.”

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REPORTER, JANE LANHEE LEE, SAYING:

“How about e-cars? What’s keeping Ford from building e-cars in China?”

(SOUNDBITE) (English) EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, FORD MOTOR COMPANY, WILLIAM CLAY FORD JR., SAYING:

“Well I mean we are building e-cars in the rest of the world. And of course we have eco-boost which we think is – but the business case for e-vehicles still has to play out. We’re pushing very hard on electric. And in fact, as a company we have a big push on all forms of electrication: pure electric, hybrids, and then plug-in hybrids. But the business case has to make sense too. And that’s, I think, what we and other automakers are struggling with. Part of our global approach is that we can bring e-cars wherever we think they’re needed. But at the end of the day, a clean traffic jam is still a traffic jam. And so we have to do both. We have to not only clean up the propulsion system, but honestly, we have to make sure that traffic starts to flow. Because congestion – if you’re sitting in congestion, not only is it inconvenient, you also are creating pollution.”

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REPORTER, JANE LANHEE LEE, SAYING:

“You’re investing five billions dollars in China going forward and the economy here is facing its worst year in a quarter of a century. Do you think automakers are ploughing too much money into China? Should they slow down?”

(SOUNDBITE) (English) EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, FORD MOTOR COMPANY, WILLIAM CLAY FORD JR., SAYING:

“Well first of all, slumping is a relative term. Growth here is still quite robust by global standards. Secondly, we are growing faster than the industry. And third, we’re very cognizant – part of what we do is we match demand with supply. So we deal with reality and if the reality tells us to slow down production, we’ll slow down production.”

ENDS

Tags : drive, Cleaning, force, wants, ford

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