Monday, January 23, 2006

Piquete Project? Recyclable cars? Is this really new?

I was reading Jalopnik's blog this morning and there was a story with link to the Detroit News, about a new "Secret Plan" at Ford called the Piquete Project. This project is supposed to be a new project to make vehicles recyclable. And imediately I thought of this, the Model U concept from 2003.
This Supercharged Hydrogen powered Internal Combustion egine powered mini SUV, has a reconfigurable interior and fabrics and body panels made of soybeans. I found an older article on the concept here;
  • article Model U

  • But as in my last post, I repeat that eveything old is new again. Soy fabric and body panels? Is the ghost of Henry Ford still walking around Dearborn whispering in someone's ear?

    I remember thinking when I saw the Model U in magazines a few years ago, that it wouldn't sell. But being slightly older and infinitely wiser now, I realize that such a vehicle could indeed be marketed. That is if Hydrogen infrastructure existed.

    You may scoff at the Soybean based body panels now, but remember the plastic panels on Saturn vehicles? And don't forget the Fiberglass Corvettes. Bill Ford says that the Piquete Project is new and I'm sure it is in a way, but in reality it's revisiting ideas that he and his eccentric great grandfather have been bouncing around over the last 90 years.

    Inovation is not new territory for Ford, it's coming back to the company's roots. The company that put the world on wheels could reinvent the entire industry. I know that while others blog and discuss the "Way Forward" it may seem stupid to discuss this, but I'm not a journalist or industry analyst, I'm just a Ford fan. So if you're looking for the latest news on Way Forward, check the following; , , their coverage seems the most interesting to me.

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