Yeah, the US of A — we don't need no hybrids. In fact, when we think of our good ol' America, we think energy independence, high fuel economy and an addiction to small n' efficient cars. While we're not-so-much kidding on the square, we were thinking maybe Ford believes just that. Three days after announcing it wouldn't be meeting the 250,000 unit goal for hybrids — we hear news FoMoCo's looking to boost their spend on Swedish hybrid R&D, building a fresh and clean hybrid tech center for Volvo in Sweden. So why is the Dearborn-based automaker more interested in developing their hybrid tech across the pond? Well...
...we think maybe it's a cost thing. We're hearing all sorts of stuff from the boys and girls in Dearborn about the cost-cutting going on in IT and other high-tech (re: high-cost) areas. The FoMoCo folks are finally putting together cost-benefit analyses of things like supply-chain, design and engineering software — and making the decision to off-shore anything not requiring direct hands-on help from Dearborn. So they're shipping a poop-load of software programs over to India — and the associated jobs with them.
We guess it stands to reason that maybe after 3 years of trying — Ford, Fields and Co. decided it just wasn't working out to continue in-shoring the R&D for hybrid technology. So, maybe it makes sense to shuffle that crap on over to another country where there're lower costs, better high-tech R&D tax credits or better resources. Maybe after Volvo's solved whatever problems Ford's having with their hybrids, they'll in-shore the solution. Meh, who needs it — we've got E85 here. Flex-fuel! Flex-fuel!
The Spokes-Frog Is Dead, Long Live The Spokes-Frog! [internal]