Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford and the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford, called Miller "an extraordinary leader" who had a profound impact on the competitiveness and resurgence of Ford Motor Co. at a key juncture.
That’s why we asked owners of 14,208 cars to tell us if their cars had suffered any faults in the past 12 months. Faults were classified into 14 groups: battery, bodywork, brakes, engine, engine electrics, exhaust, exterior lights, fuel system, gearbox/clutch, interior trim, non-engine electrics, steering, suspension and other.
Regular Outlanders have always sold pretty well, even if they make do with nothing more exciting than a conventional 2.2-litre diesel engine. But it’s the PHEV version that has caught the eye of more than just the young man I mentioned earlier – it’s the UK’s best-selling electrified vehicle, with more than 25,000 cars sold, and that's despite the halving last year of the Government grant that applies when buying a new one. So popular is it that it actually accounts for nearly 50% of all the PHEVs on the road.
Burns said that the company is hoping for its first manned flight of the vehicle toward the end of the year or the first week of January and hinted that there may be a first public demo at the 2018 CES technology show in early January. Considering Workhorse’s wide portfolio of intended products, from larger delivery trucks to vans and pickups and from copters to drones, what comes as a complete surprise is that the company operates in the minor margins. A third-quarter financial report this last week listed total operating expenses, including R&D, of $8.4 million for the quarter. That’s small change; by comparison, Tesla’s R&D spending in the same quarter was at about $332 million, and BMW’s was $4.1 billion. Burns agrees that while they’ve done a lot with a little, they need a partner to see the full vision through.
"We really shouldn't have to pay for these lunches," Miller once said, according to former Ford President Lee Iacocca's 1984 autobiography. "Feeding employees is deductible for the company. A lot of companies feed their people without charging them at all. But if we pay for it ourselves, it's after tax-money."
Burns said the general public has given the electric pickup an unexpectedly strong reception, and now the company is trying to decide whether to build a consumer-focused version. “We’ve really been wrestling with it,” he said. “But we want to cut our teeth with fleets because that’s our DNA. We want to make sure we never disappoint them.” The N-Gen has all-wheel drive, which is unusual for a commercial van. “These delivery guys have to go in all sorts of weather,” Burns said. Meanwhile, the company touts the low-floor design combined with the body-on-frame layout and standard pickup-truck ride height as providing a good blend of clearance, durability, and loading ease. Workhorse says that its electric vehicles have already logged nearly two million miles and are in use in 14 states. The company has been ramping up production at an Indiana plant; this summer and fall, it made 143 of its larger E-Gen trucks for the United Parcel Service (out of a total order of 200 from UPS), and it is currently at a production rate of about three vehicles a day. W.B. Mason has also placed an order for those larger vehicles, Ryder is providing sales and support, and Workhorse has one other large order pending that Burns can’t yet talk about. With its current factory, Workhorse can make 60,000 vehicles of the roadgoing kind per year. And if the USPS contract happens? “We could probably fit more,” Burns added. “But it falls under ‘good problems to have.’ ” It’s Really about the Last Mile If you’re in the shipping logistics business—or if you have anything to do with e-commerce and shipping goods—“last-mile delivery” is what it’s all about. In the last mile or few miles of getting a parcel to its final destination, the costs ratchet up, and the task becomes more complex. It’s exactly what Workhorse appears to be trying to address with its approach, which embraces electrification and, when necessary, takes to the skies. According to a report last year from McKinsey & Company, 60 percent of consumers are either in favor of or indifferent to drone delivery.
The model is based on the platform of the new L200, and the pick-up roots are visible side-on and inside, with a similar ride height and door profile, plus a cabin inspired by the firm's pick-up. A large rear overhang translates into seven full-size seats and a huge boot, while the back end gets unusual stretched tail-lamps.