Bill Ford:"All Hands on Deck!" Battle Stations!
Ford, executive chairman of Ford (F) - Get Free Report and great-grandson of founder Henry Ford, acknowledged that right now the US is not ready to compete with China on the production of electric vehicles.

But he says that’s going to change.

“They developed very quickly, and they developed them in large scale,” Ford told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. “And now they’re exporting them. They’re not here but they’ll come here, we think, at some point. We need to be ready, and we’re getting ready.”

The numbers coming out of China are pretty impressive.

China’s electric vehicle exports are expected to almost double this year, helping the nation overtake Japan as the biggest car exporter worldwide, the South China Post reported.

“Having recognized the potential of electric vehicles 15 years ago, China has since invested vast resources in building a competitive electric vehicle ecosystem,” the financial services company Allianz said in a report last month.

As a result, the report said, “China now leads the global EV landscape, selling over double the number of BEVs in 2022 compared to Europe and the US combined, while also holding a competitive edge in nearly all aspects of the BEV value chain.”

“I think we see the Chinese as the main competitor, not GM or Toyota,” he said, according to Reuters. “The Chinese are going to be the powerhouse.”

China does have a demographic problem. Zeihan predicts a China collapse in 10 years. China’s population has begun to decline.
The China advantage may be a short lived affair.

According to the UN’s World Population Prospects report for 2022, China’s population was predicted to decline in 2023 – the reduction recently revealed by the country’s census had been expected for some time. In fact, the shift has only come slightly early.


hmmm…lessee…population of the US 332M. Population of the EU 448M. Total 780M

Population of China 1,412M, or slightly less than double the US and EU combined.

Mr Ford is probably angling for protection from Chinese competition, or US government subsidies, or both, because that is how Shiny “JCs” roll.



What is the middle class in China?

By 2018, more than half of China’s population — 707 million people — had entered the country’s middle-income bracket, according to calculations from the Center for Strategic and International Studies that defined the middle class as those spending between $10 and $50 a day.Dec 6, 2021

Steve that is just over 700 million people or about half of the population are middle class

How much does the average American spend in a day?

How Much Does The Average American Spend Per Day. On average, the average American spends $178.48 per day. This number is made up of a variety of expenses, including food, transportation, housing, healthcare costs and more.May 17, 2023

How much does a middle-class person spend a month?

The typical American household spends $5,111 per month, on average. The largest expense for most Americans is housing. At $1,050 per month, the cost of having a roof over our heads accounts for 21% of a household’s monthly budget. Percentage of income is based on after-tax income.Nov 28, 2022

That is not as simple as dismissing the averages based on the top 20%. The $1050 rent is common and $35 per day.

The flip side of being middle class in the EU, 60% are middle class compared to the US 50% are middle class.

Is it cheaper to live in the US than Europe?

Key Takeaways. Overall, Europe has a lower cost of living due to lower healthcare expenses, a weakening euro currency, and low inflation. Europeans, however, tend to pay more of their income to taxes, and average wages tend to be lower than in America.

Europe for most people offers more. Spending income is less pressured because the social net is much better.

So, your point is?

Ford was whining about twice as many EVs being sold in China as the US and EU combined. I pointed out that the population of China is roughly twice that of the US and EU combined. And that is disregarding the piece about the fields full of discarded EVs that were sold to speculative and unsustainable businesses.

But we know how Shiny JCs roll. There is no situation that can’t be used to whip up hysteria to gain government protection and/or handouts.

Steve…remembers the “missile gap” hysteria


Regardless of all the media setups at some point there is real labor and real work and real business being done. There are differences between the US/EU and China in how well that can be done. What the numbers are matters regardless of the bull that got them there.

I agree the press is treated like a mushroom, fed bull crap and kept in the dark.

The accountants have to report though four times per year.

Just so we’re clear, much of this Chinese progress was built, entirely legally, on the remains of US research and development that happened over a decade ago. [I will link to the story, but it’s Bloomberg, a subscription site, which you can work around but only with patience.]

Anybody remember a company called A123? It is sometimes mentioned along with Solyndra, the famously failed startup that went bankrupt with about $500m of Obama administration seed money which followed the 2008 economic catastrophe. Well, A123 also went bankrupt, but not before developing a highly superior way of producing battery anodes, one which improved performance dramatically for use in EVs.

Oops, too soon, nobody in the US was interested, and the company went toes up. China, knowing EVs were a target industry, bought the remains of A123 out of bankruptcy for a pittance, which included their patents, processes, etc.

By 2012, A123 had filed for bankruptcy and become a symbol of government waste often mentioned in the same breath as [Solyndra, the California solar-panel maker] that filed for bankruptcy in 2011 after receiving a half-billion dollars in federal loan guarantees. To this day, Dave Vieau, A123’s former chief executive officer, is dogged by occasional finger-wagging when people learn he ran the company. “You’re the A123 guy who stole all the government money” is a line he’s gotten more than once.

Now, almost 30 years after the discovery of LFP, the US is scrambling to build its own battery supply chain, and the pioneer of the modern assembly line is turning to China to learn how to make the engine of the 21st century. It’s an unsubtle reminder that America learned the wrong lesson from A123. Rather than letting a potentially breakthrough technology, or a young company trying to commercialize that technology, live or die by the whims of the free market, the US could have been committed to a much longer game. And rather than allowing a battery discovery to slip through its fingers and into the hands of what’s now its greatest economic and geopolitical rival, the US could have figured out how to nurture and protect a nascent industry that was inevitably going to encounter trial and error.

So now we have the specter of paying China for the privilege of using patents developed by an American company using American tax monies, in a valiant effort to keep up in an industry we should have owned. But you know, “next quarter’s profits” and all.

[Bloomberg story, I had to get there via Flipboard & an emailed code. Maybe it will work for you, maybe not.] :

A chart from the article shows what we’ve fumbled away:

A123 limped along for a couple years selling batteries to Black & Decker for hand tools and a few similar small initiatives, but it was too soon for EV’s, the public wasn’t interested, and they declared bankruptcy in 2012; the Chinese bought the whole thing in 2013.

In 2013, China’s then-biggest auto parts company [purchased A123 out of bankruptcy]. That year the Chinese government also began implementing its plan to build a domestic EV market at a breathtaking pace. A decade later, China accounts for 58% of the world’s EV sales and 83% of all lithium-ion battery manufacturing, according to BloombergNEF. Even if all of President Joe Biden’s climate policies succeed in reviving American manufacturing, the US is now at least a decade behind China when it comes to battery manufacturing, in terms of both the necessary technology and the capacity, industry experts say. “China has just marched ahead with a very consistent strategy over the past 20 years,” says Brian Engle, president-elect of [NaatBatt International], a trade association that [advocates for battery development] in North America. “We create all kinds of really cool technology, and then we abandon it.”

Or, as one participant in the story says: “The US has an industrial policy. Here’s the policy: We don’t have an industrial policy”. That’s from a guy who spent a decade doing battery research at Argonne National Labs.

Great story, if you can get to it.


Well, not quite. The Shiny policy, is not to “pick winners and losers”, as the demagogues complain. Ideology dictates that only “JCs” know what do do with money. Shiny policy is to shovel vast amounts of money at the “JCs”, for the “JCs” to do with as they wish.


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It is amazing how the same old people are led so easily to be stupid.