Dearborn, MI - Ford Motor Company will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Model T this year by releasing an all new concept based on the original ground breaking auto. The project has been kept under wraps for the past several years, however executives have finally unveiled plans for the all-new car. "We wanted to get back to our roots", says Chief Executive Alan Mulally. "What better way to do that, than to go back where it all started - the Model T."
The company has has been facing increasing pressure from foreign automakers while relying on sales of large trucks and SUVs. With gas prices fast approaching $4.00 per gallon, Ford is beginning to feel a pinch as consumers are opting for smaller and more fuel efficient alternatives. "There's no question that we need to re-evaluate ourselves", states William Ford, former CEO and great-grandson of Henry Ford. "Bringing back the Model T is a step in the right direction."
Although there has been some skepticism amid the automotive world, Ford officials insist that it is the right thing to do. "We produced over 15 million Model T's in the early 1900's and into the 1920's. It's one of the most popular cars of all time and we believe that it still holds true today." (William) Ford insists that the car has a place in today's world, "What was important for people back then still holds true today. They want a reliable car. One that is cost effective and fun to drive. Today's Model T will be all of that, and more."
Company officials claim that the car can be produced and sold for less than ten thousand dollars and will have an estimated fuel economy of 25 MPG with a top speed of 40-45 MPH. Those figures are roughly in line with the Model T's original performance and price when taking inflation into account. "We will be using the same production methods, materials and technology as we did back then. As a result, those cost savings will be passed on to you, the consumer", states Mulally.
Critics claim that the company is taking a big risk and that it is setting itself up for failure. "No one will buy this car", states Brock Yates of Car and Driver Magazine. "There's a reason that they stopped making them over 80 years ago. People stopped buying them. The least they could have done is re-introduce the Model A. Now that's a car people would buy."