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October 14, 2022

THE MORNING RANT: Go Green, Go Broke – Blue Oval Edition; also, Judge Throws Monkey Wrench Into Plans For Rivian Plant in Georgia

This Truck Can’t Do Normal Truck Things

When evangelists of the Sustainable Organic Church of the Carbon Apocalypse take over the C-Suites and the Boards of major corporations, the future prosperity of those companies is in peril. It’s sad, but the green zealots now in charge of Ford Motor Company are actively destroying that once great company.

If you know anyone who works for Ford or for one of its dealers, you are likely aware of the chaos engulfing the company. The problems are reflected in Ford’s collapsing stock price.

As I write this post, Ford stock is trading at around $11.50 cents per share, which reflects a catastrophic 56% collapse in share price from its 52-week high. The woeful situation is becoming a bigger and bigger news story.

Why Ford Stock Tumbled 26.5% in September [Motley Fool – 10/10/2022]

The very first line of this Motley Fool article captures the problem in just 11 words.

Ford is at the very early stages of reinventing its business.

Ford doesn’t need to reinvent its business. It wouldn’t be in a state of chaos if it wasn’t needlessly reinventing its business. Ford has done an outstanding job manufacturing internal combustion vehicles for more than a century. But it is currently run by left-wing idealogues who’d rather win praise from a Swedish high school dropout than from its dealers and loyal customers. The engineers and managers tasked with keeping the legacy operations afloat have fallen out of favor with executives. In fact, Ford is aggressively trying to get rid of those legacy employees.

Ford cutting 3,000 corporate jobs as part of its shift to EVs [CNN Business – 8/22/2022]

Ford is cutting 3,000 white collar jobs as it prepares to shift from traditional internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles.

“Building this future requires changing and reshaping virtually all aspects of the way we have operated for more than a century,” CEO Jim Farley and executive chairman Bill Ford wrote in a message to Ford employees.

With Ford openly showing contempt for its legacy workforce and the ICE vehicles that they developed, manufactured, and sold, it is not surprising that the entire process has broken down.

Ford put out a press release in September advising that over 40,000 vehicles would remain undeliverable in inventory while waiting for parts.

A member of my family has a Ford with a recall that has been open for months. Ford promised to complete the recall work by the end of Q3 2022, but they are still awaiting parts, and now the fulfillment date is open ended and unknown. She tried to trade that Ford in this past summer on a new Explorer, but the dealer told her that their new Explorers were grounded due to a safety recall and could not even be test-driven until that safety issue was resolved. Once resolved, they would be able to sell her a new Explorer, but it would still be missing some functionalities until certain chips that are normally installed during manufacture could be installed at a later date by the dealer. She gave up and is now just hoping to someday get the open recall serviced. Her next car will not be a Ford.

But electric trucks are hitting the market! That will save Ford, right?

A You Tube review of the Ford Lightning EV Pickup by Tyler Hoover of Hoovie’s Garage went viral three weeks ago, and has already surpassed 2.7 million views. And now the regular media is also picking up on Ford’s EV pickup debacle, including this story at Yahoo Finance.

‘This truck can’t do normal truck things’: YouTube star says towing with Ford’s new electric pickup is a ‘total disaster’ in viral video [Yahoo – 10/09/2022]

“If a truck towing 3,500 pounds can’t even go 100 miles … that is ridiculously stupid. This truck can’t do normal truck things,” Hoover says.

“You would be stopping every hour to recharge, which would take about 45 minutes a pop, and that is absolutely not practical.”

Here is the video. Having observed that “90 miles of range” evaporated in just 30 miles, Hoovie laughingly proclaims “What a joke!”

Towing with my Ford Lightning EV Pickup was a TOTAL DISASTER!

Later in the video, he tries to determine why EVs lose so much more range than gas-powered vehicles when towing.

“I have no idea why EVs tow so bad. My guess would be it doesn’t have a normal transmission where there’s gears and the car’s in a lower rev range, but still pulling.”

Ford’s engineers could probably tell us why EVs have such range problems when towing, and they certainly knew what a catastrophe this EV truck would be. But Ford’s executives, with their fancy MBAs and a belief that “goal setting” can make the impossible doable, instructed that an EV pickup truck be brought to market. They designers and engineers were commanded to make it happen. So they did. And it’s awful.

Go green, go broke.


Judge Nixes Tax Breaks for Rivian EV Boondoggle in Georgia

While we’re discussing EV debacles, that proposed Rivian EV manufacturing plant in Georgia is looking less likely to ever break ground. That is great news for Georgia taxpayers, who would have to cough up over $1 billion in tax breaks and incentives for Rivian.

Rivian’s $5 billion plant in Georgia loses lucrative property tax break after judge unexpectedly throws it out [Fortune – 10/01/2022]

A Georgia judge rejected an agreement that would have provided a huge property tax break to Rivian Automotive, clouding the upstart electric truck maker’s plans to build a plant east of Atlanta.

Judge Brenda Trammel inconveniently pointed out that the law requires that such a project must be “sound, reasonable, and feasible.”

Rivian has been posting massive losses, so it is legitimate to question how this money-losing startup is sound, reasonable, or feasible. While Rivian has shown that it can raise money from suckers investors, it hasn’t shown that it can produce positive cash flow from operations. Without that, it has not proven that it is a viable company.

“Rivian’s cash reserves are quickly drying up, thus casting serious doubt on whether it will be able to commence, let alone complete, the project,” Trammell wrote.

Governor Brian Kemp was a huge proponent of this boondoggle. It would be better for him politically if it were to quickly fall apart now, before ground is broken, rather than after billions of dollars have been spent on a failed project.

[Hey Morons: Do any of you have cartoon / drawing / meme skills? I would love to be able to use a clever picture that is not copyright protected against my using it, and which doesn’t target any individual company. I’d use it as a header whenever I do a post about electric vehicles. Perhaps a drawing of a car that is clearly an EV which is on fire? If you’re feeling clever, shoot me an email at the address listed below. Of, course I would credit you, and your signature or nic would be welcome in the picture. Thanks. – Buck]


Songs of the Season

Johnny Cash’s “I Still Miss Someone” employs the falling leaves of Autumn, and the cold winds that come as winter nears, to add to the mood of this poignant song.

This beautiful version by Martina McBride is compliant with Throckmorton’s First Law of Live Music. (“If there’s an upright bass in the band, it’s probably going to be good.”)

At my door the leaves are falling

A cold, wild wind has come

Sweethearts walk by together

And I still miss someone

Have a great weekend.

(buck.throckmorton at protonmail dot com)

digg this
posted by Buck Throckmorton at 11:00 AM

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