What's on Mark Fields' mind? According to Consumer Reports, the answer may be the cost of manufacturing hybrids. During a recent informal meeting, Ford's vice-president of North American operations reportedly "implied" the automaker isn't seeing any profit from any of its hybrid products.
That wouldn't be too surprising, given the cost and complexity of a hybrid-electric drive system. Pure electric vehicles, however, seem to tickle Fields' fancy. Fields believes power companies are jumping at the chance to power the cars, and there isn't much support from traditional fuel sources to provide other alternative fuels.
Diesels, however, may have a limited role in Ford's future. Apart from the new 6.7-liter diesel launched for the 2011 Super Duty, few - if any - future products will burn oil. Fields did note that a light-duty diesel for the F-150 pickup wasn't canceled, but simply deferred. Unless diesels receive additional governmental support and looser emission standards, Fields doesn't believe Ford's European diesel cars will find a home in North America.