Ford's Ecoboost technology may improve the fuel efficiency of the Blue Oval's cars, but there's one problem that the company's engineer's couldn't solve: making sure people know this. As Jim Farley, the Ford's global marketing chief, recently told Bloomberg, "There are 240 million people driving vehicles in America and only 32 percent have a good opinion of Ford on fuel economy. That means 68 percent don't."
Yes, despite millions of dollars spent developing Ecoboost and on advertising things like the "Four in the forties" campaign, Ford isn't able to charge what it wants for its vehicles because of poor impressions of the brand's mileage ratings. As Farley said, "Fuel economy is ground zero in pricing power in the U.S. for Ford. ... Those that own fuel economy in the U.S. own pricing."
This is an argument we haven't heard before, but it's an interesting one. We like to think that efficient cars are good for their own sake – and the sake of the environment and national security, of course – but if Ford wants to make greener cars to charge more green, well, then, that's cool, too. Right?