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The Ford Motor Company, commonly referred to as Ford, is one of the world's largest car and truck manufacturers. Brands include Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury. Ford owns a 33% controlling stake in Mazda and also controls the Land Rover, Jaguar, and Volvo brands. Ford family members own about 40% of the company's voting stock. Ford's total profits were $6.3 billion in 2014, of which $1.9 billion came from Ford Credit, the company's financial services division. Globally, Ford had approximately 187,000 employees and 62 plants in 2014.
Access the Ford's corporate rap sheet compiled and written by Good Jobs First here.
- 1 Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
- 2 Ford and Fuel Efficiency Standards
- 3 Ford, the Sierra Club, and SUV's
- 4 Pushing Gas-Guzzlers
- 5 Political Contributions
- 6 Lobbying
- 7 Personnel
- 8 Contact details
- 9 Resources and articles
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Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
Ford has been a corporate funder of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). See ALEC Corporations for more. In February 2016, Ford announced that it was ending its membership in ALEC. See Corporations that Have Cut Ties to ALEC for more.
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.
Ford and Fuel Efficiency Standards
While Ford has sought to re-position itself as a 'green' manufacturer, it remains an opponent of mandatory fuel efficiency standards. On its website Ford states that "market based initiatives, not mandated increases, are the best method of improving fuel economy."
While arguing in favour of market based mechanisms, Ford makes it clear it wants Congress to provide incentives to stimulate demand. "We are working with environmental organizations and Congress to create consumer tax credits to encourage and accelerate the purchase and market acceptance of advanced technology vehicles, such as hybrids and fuel cells," it states.
Ford, the Sierra Club, and SUV's
Readers of the Sierra Club's magazine know it runs glossy full-page ads from car companies selling hybrids. Now the Sierra Club is also mobilizing its members and launching a marketing campaign to help Ford peddle its latest SUV the Mercury Mariner, which has a reported fuel efficiency of 33 city, 29 highway miles per gallon.
In June 2003 the Sierra Club took out a full page ad in the New York Times to coincide with the company's 100th anniversary. "1903-2003: A Century Of Innovation ... Except at Ford", the ad stated pointing out that the Model T Ford travelled 25 miles for each gallon of petrol.
Has the Sierra Club's love of hybrids devolved to greenwashing Ford? The Club's Dan Becker says, "If we can work with Ford to make their Mercury Hybrid a hit, Ford will be convinced that you can make money and make a vehicle that's clean." But Rainforest Action Network (RAN) director Michael Brune counters in the New York Times, "It's a nice gesture, but we think it's more PR than progress." With the PR firm Fenton Communications, RAN and Global Exchange are cranking up their Jump Start Ford campaign, shaming Ford for having the worst fuel efficiency of any major car company.
Sales of gas-guzzling pickup trucks are softening due to high gasoline prices, so PR Week reports that the Ford Motor Company has launched a series of PR stunts aimed at pumping up sales to country folk, including sponsoring a monster truck rally, NASCAR races, and a marketing arrangement with country singer Toby Keith to have a video play at the beginning of Keith's concerts, showing him driving an F-series pickup. Meanwhile Toyota, "one of the few automakers currently doing very well," is holding seminars to talk up the fuel efficiency of its hybrid pickups. Which strategy is working? Ford's CEO has talked big about being an environmentalist for years, but has repeatedly reneged on its promises to build more fuel-efficient vehicles while his company loses money and market share.
"Had Mr. Ford produced more fuel-efficient vehicles like hybrids sooner," observes the New York Times, "he not only would have found his company keeping pace with nimble foreign competitors like Toyota when oil prices spiked, but he also would have been able to illustrate the bottom-line merit of his environmental values. Instead, Ford, is again in the all-too-familiar spot of playing corporate catch-up."
See information about the political contributions of Ford and its employees, compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, here.
Ford's website said of Ojakli, "He leads a team that helps shape policy and legislation that promote the company's core business objectives including areas of tax, litigation and regulatory relief for business, energy reform, automotive safety, international trade, and improvements in the nation's health care and pension systems."
As part of the government-industry revolving door, before working at Ford, Ojakli was Deputy Assistant to George W. Bush for Legislative Affairs, the President’s chief liaison to the U.S. Senate. Before joining the White House staff, Ojakli was the Senate liaison for the Bush-Cheney Transition Team.
See Ford's lobbying profile, compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, here.
As of 2016:
- William Clay Ford Jr., Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company
- Mark Fields, President, Chief Executive Officer, Ford Motor Company
- Stephen G. Butler, Board Member
- Kimberly A. Casiano, Board Member
- Anthony F. Earley, Jr., Board Member
- Edsel B. Ford II, Board Member
- James P. Hackett, Board Member
- James H. Hance, Jr., Board Member
- William W. Helman IV, Board Member
- Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., Board Member
- William E. Kennard, Board Member
- John C. Lechleiter, Board Member
- Ellen R. Marram, Board Member
- Gerald L. Shaheen, Board Member
- John L. Thornton, Board Member
1 American Road
Dearborn, MI 48126
Resources and articles
Related SourceWatch articles
- Government-industry revolving door
- Eli Whitney Debevoise
- Jon M. Huntsman, Jr.
- Anne Stevens - former coo
- Ford Profile, Hoovers, accessed September 2007.
- Ford Motor Company, "2014 Annual Report, Form 10-K," SEC Filing, FY 2014.
- Ford Motor Company, "History," corporate website, accessed January 2016.
- Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research, project of the Environmental Working Group, Information on American Legislative Exchange Council, archived organizational profile, archived by Wayback Machine December 2, 2000, accessed August 19, 2011
- A Ford spokesperson confirmed its funding of ALEC to CMD in November 2015. See Nick Surgey, "Ford Revealed as Funder of Climate Denial Group ALEC," Alternet, November 7, 2015.
- Nick Surgey, "Ford Becomes Latest Major Corporation to Dump ALEC," Center for Media and Democracy, PR Watch, February 17, 2016.
- Ford, "Fuel Economy," corporate website.
- Sierra Club,A Century of Innovation, advertisement, June 3, 2003.
- Danny Hakim, "With Sierra Club's Help, Ford Pushes a New Hybrid," July 12, 2005.
- "Ford Abandons Pledge On Hybrid Production," Washington Post, June 29, 2006.
- "Is Ford Running on Empty?," The New York Times, July 16, 2006.
- "Is Ford Running on Empty?," The New York Times, July 16, 2006.
- Bush Pioneer Ziad S. Ojakli, Texans for Public Justice, accessed September 2007.
- Biography: Ziad S. Ojakli, Ford, accessed September 2007.
- 2006 PAC Summary Data, Open Secrets.
- Ford Motor Company, "Governance," corporate website, accessed January 2016.
"Feature: A Better Way to Build an SUV", Sierra Club, undated.
- Sierra Club, "Ford's New Gas-Guzzling SUV Wins "Exxon Valdez" Award", Media Release, February 25, 1999.
- Kari Lydersen, "Eco-Campaign Against Ford Kicks Off", Alternet, June 12, 2003.
- "Sierra Club Applauds Introduction of Ford's Hybrid Escape: Statement by David Hamilton, Director, Global Warming and Energy Program, Sierra Club", Media Release, August 4, 2004.
- Jumpstart Ford Coalition (Rainforest Action Network, Green Century Capital Management), "Shareholder Resolutions Target Ford's Policy Failures: Emphasis on Gas Guzzlers has put the company at risk. Shareholders ask Ford's Directors to align executive compensation and lobbying policies with increased gas mileage", Media Release, May 12, 2005.
- "Ford Motors' 100th Birthday", Media Release, June 3, 2003.
- "1903-2003: A Century Of Innovation ... Except at Ford", Newspaper Advertisement, June 3, 2003.
- "Former Sierra Club President to Run For Ford's Board On Company's 100th Birthday: New Ad Calls for Innovation on Fuel Economy", Media Release, June 3, 2003.
- Jon Hewett, "2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid To Be Ordered Online", Media Release, July 11, 2005.
- "Sierra Club Applauds Introduction of Mercury Mariner Hybrid SUV", Media Release, July 11 , 2005.
- "Ford's Mercury Mariner Hybrid: A Better Way to Build an SUV", Sierra Club, July 11, 2005.
- "FreedomFromOil.com Calls on Consumers to Join ‘Energy Revolution’ to Compel Ford Motor Co. to Help America Declare Independence from Oil: Ad campaign highlights Ford Motor Co.’s bottom-of-the-barrel fuel efficiency NY Times ad connects Ford gas-guzzlers, Cheney energy policy, and Saudi oil supplies", Media Release, July 11, 2005.
- Dee-Ann Durbin, "Ford Starts Selling Second Hybrid Vehicle", Washington Post, July 11, 2005. (This is an Associated Press story).
- Danny Hakim, "With Sierra Club's Help, Ford Pushes a New Hybrid", New York Times, July 12, 2005.
- Zack Pelta-Heller, "The New Ford Focus", AlterNet, July 19, 2005.
- Sholnn Freeman, "Ford Abandons Pledge On Hybrid Production", Washington Post, June 30, 2006.
- Michelle Maynard, "Is Ford Running On Empty?", New York Times, July 16, 2006. (Sub req'd).
- Michael Bush, "Ford Picks Up PR Points for Declining Auto Bailout: Experts Say Move Plays Well With Recession-Weary Consumers," Advertising Age, December 22, 2008.
- Paul H. Weaver, The Suicidal Corporation (Touchstone, 1989).