Incoming Ford boss urged to deliver on green pledge

Environmental groups have called on new Ford chief Alan Mulally to deliver on his predecessor’s promises to cut fuel emissions.

Environmental groups have called on new Ford chief Alan Mulally to deliver on his predecessor’s promises to cut fuel emissions.

Sarah Connolly, of Rainforest Action Network, and Mike Hudema, of Global Exchange, co-directors of the Jumpstart Ford Campaign, have challenged Mulally to make Ford a more fuel efficient company for the sake of the environment and his balance sheet.

Former Boeing chief Mulally replaced Bill Ford Jr as chairman and chief executive of the ailing car giant earlier this month.

A statement issued on behalf of the campaign says/ “Ford’s chronic over-reliance on gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs in an era of soaring gas prices has left the company in financial ruin, so the leadership change comes as no surprise.

“The only question is whether Mulally will be able to deliver on his predecessor’s broken promises and reverse the company’s economically devastating downward spiral of oil addiction. Bill Ford Jr had a knack for saying the right thing, but Ford needs a chief executive who is truly willing to make bold moves.”

Ford emerged as one of the least fuel efficient car manufacturers in the world in July in the same week that it announced a £1bn investment in greener cars. The company narrowly avoided last place in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s 2006 fuel economy report. Its vehicles averaged 19.7 miles per gallon (mpg), compared with DaimlerChrysler’s 19.1mpg.

Mulally’s appointment is part of a wide-ranging shake-up at the world’s biggest carmaker. It comes just weeks before Ford is due to unveil a sweeping plan aimed at reversing years of falling share in its vital North American market and missed financial targets.

Ford Jr, a great grandson of Henry Ford, will remain as executive chairman. But he insists Mulally will have “the responsibility and the freedom to do the job”.

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