DETROIT – Ford Motor Co. is unfazed by a strategy shift that will see an environmental action campaign take aim at the entire auto industry, instead of zeroing in on the Dearborn auto maker.
The Freedom From Oil Campaign, formerly known as JumpstartFord.com, adds General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. to its list of targets.
GM draws fire for plans to boost sales of its Hummer SUV brand, while Toyota, the longtime darling of the environmental movement, takes flak for the attention paid to its new Tundra fullsize pickup at the North American International Auto Show here.
The campaign, backed by groups such as the Rainforest Action Network, cannot afford to “give Toyota a free pass,” a spokeswoman says.
Campaign organizers commend Toyota for its track record of addressing fuel economy. They also laud GM for expanding its plans for hybrid-electric vehicles.
But rapid, sustained deployment of fuel-efficient powertrains is essential to offset the economic impact of rising gasoline prices and the environmental devastation exaggerated by fuel-thirsty vehicles, say organizers, whose tactics have included picketing Ford dealerships.
The revised campaign, according to a statement, is committed to ensuring “that auto makers are taking the interim steps needed to show that they are truly committed to fuel economy and not just good PR.”
No longer alone in the harsh glare of criticism, Ford “will just keep doing what we’ve been doing,” a spokeswoman says. “We’re focusing on the customer.”