Ford ad calls out Chevy, Jeep, Toyota over California emissions

The ad, which incorporates an instrumental version of the song “California Dreamin’ ” was produced by Civic Entertainment Group. It marks a new tone for a company not known for directly calling out competitors.

“That’s something people have to judge in terms of the actions both of us take, not just having tag lines about where we’re heading but actually mobilizing your operations and policy advocacy around what it takes to get there,” Bob Holycross, Ford’s vice president of sustainability, environment and safety engineering, told Automotive News. “We feel this is a good opportunity to start to tell our story more with a broader audience.”

The ad is the first of what will be a long-running campaign aimed at educating customers, especially in California.

“We have a long legacy of leading on sustainability,” Holycross said. “Our main objective is to push our awareness around our broader sustainability efforts.”

Ford and California state officials have a strong relationship, Holycross said. That was evident Wednesday when California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed his executive order calling for the gas-powered vehicle ban on the hood of a Mustang Mach-E electric crossover.

“Ford is proud to be the only American automaker to stand with California for reduced greenhouse gas emissions,” incoming CEO Jim Farley tweeted. “We want to leave a better world to the next generation.”

Automakers respond

GM responded on Thursday with an emailed statement that reiterated its commitments to zero-emission EVs.

“We have long-demonstrated that unwavering commitment with sales of the Chevy Bolt EV … and new vehicles from our upcoming Ultium-powered line-up including the Cadillac Lyriq EV, GMC Hummer EV, and Cruise Origin,” the statement said. “This is coupled with multi-billion dollar investments; creating thousands of jobs in electric vehicle manufacturing in the United States.”

Toyota, in an emailed statement, said: “Toyota remains committed to continuous, year over year improvements in fuel economy standards that deliver meaningful climate benefits, promote advanced technologies and meet the needs of customers. Toyota is a strong defender of the environment and we are proud of our history of environmental stewardship. We intend to continue to lead the industry in protecting biodiversity, reducing waste, conserving water, and moving towards a zero emissions future.”

A spokesman for FCA declined to comment.

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