Dave Cowen sent a message to Mark Fields - President and Chief Executive Officer of Ford Motor Company email address that said:
Hi Mr. Fields,
My family and I are lifelong Ford owners. It began with my fathers 67 mustang and has gone on to include 3 Rangers, a Bronco, a Tempo, a Probe, a Focus, and most recently a Fusion Hybrid. We have been a proud Ford-driving family and have been long-time stockholders, despite the rather poor performance for the last couple decades. We believe that you invest in what you believe in, and if a company is solid and run decently you use their products.
it is this belief that led my wife and I to purchase our Fusion Hybrid. The cost was significantly more than a competitors offering, but we wanted to financially support a company that pushes the limits on emissions and mileage.
This is why I am writing. I am very disappointing with the article I just read that you counseled President Trump to push for a national mpg standard - and a lower one than currently required - at the risk of 1 million jobs. As a lifelong customer and shareholder, I expect more from Ford and from you. You want a national standard? Fine, then make it one that pushes us forward. Not something intended to remove the EPA waiver for California to require higher standards. I listen to all quarterly webcasts, and this last one dodged this very issue.
Let me be clear. We drive Fords and invest in Ford because of the long-held belief that Ford was a company we were proud to be customers of and support. We purchased a hybrid at a premium to one of your competitors to put our money where our mouths are and demonstrate/incentivize you to continue to push toward improvements in mileage and emissions. This article negates all of that good will. Telling (directly or indirectly) that we will lose 1 million jobs unless the federal government reduces EPA standards is not acceptable. I fully understand a bit of excitement that issues like an import tax would benefit Ford and hurt your competitors. But the reduction in EPA standards will not be tolerated.
A companys integrity and reputation takes a lifetime to build and a moment to destroy. If you want the national EPA standards to be raised to Californias level, then publicly say it. Otherwise, common sense states that you are implying publicly (and probably saying privately) that the EPA should not allow CA to set higher standards. When you say half of a sentence and stay coyly quiet on the other half... your silence speaks for you. You have inserted yourself into politics, and now you will have a position on the record whether you say anything or not. As for me and my family, we will continue to vote with our dollars. If the EPA reduces standards, you will be at least partially involved in influencing that decision. And we will do something we havent done in 50 years... we will stop buying Ford vehicles. No amount of our goal is electrification, we are becoming a mobility company, etc will make up for a dismantling of standards. Make no mistake, your customers feel very strongly about this. I urge you to listen, and to advise the President to do the same. We have been more than willing to pay a premium for a superior product from an American company. A reduction in EPA standards means a less-superior product, and we will stop throwing good money after bad.
Thanks for taking the time to read this,