Not exactly. But it could be made out of the byproduct in the production of ketchup.
Ford has found another unexpected material that it can use to make car parts, joining coconuts, soy, rice hulls and recycled blue jeans,
Ford says it has a deal with H.J. Heinz to use study whether the stuff left over from making ketchup, like dried tomato skins, seeds and stems, can be used to make composites. Sounds crazy? Well, Ford thinks the skins alone could make wiring brackets or center console storage bins.
Heinz has a lot of skins. It processes 2 million pounds of tomatoes a year.
“We are exploring whether this food processing byproduct makes sense for an automotive application,” said Ellen Lee, plastics research technical specialist for Ford, in a statement. “Our goal is to develop a strong, lightweight material that meets our vehicle requirements, while at the same time reducing our overall environmental impact.”
According to Bloomberg News, Ford’s COO Mark Fields may step into the company’s CEO job later this year, replacing Alan Mulally.
Bloomberg, which cites unidentified sources, says Ford could announce the promotion and reveal Alan Mulally’s retirement date as early as May 1. It would be the second shoe to drop after Ford promoted Fields, 53, to the chief operating job in December 2012, making him Mulally’s heir apparent. A new announcement could reassure company employees and Wall Street. Both were rattled by rumors late last year that Mulally might leave Ford to take the top job at Microsoft Corp. He didn’t deny the conjectures until January. Mulally, 68, has said he intends to remain the automaker’s boss through 2014. But disclosing his retirement date soon might give him an extra chance to bask in the glow of the strong first-quarter earnings Ford is expected to report on Friday.
Spokeswoman Susan Krusel says the company won’t comment on the speculation about an imminent statement about Fields. Ford has nothing new to say about its internal succession plans, she adds. “If anything were to change, we’d let everybody know.”
The 2014 diesel-powered Ram 1500 pickup gets 28 mpg on the highway, the top rating for any pickup in the United States. The mileage ratings were announced today on the EPA’s www.fueleconomy.gov Web site. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is rated at 20 mpg in the city and 23 mpg combined city and highway.
The rating gives the Ram pickup the two highest fuel economy ratings among full-sized pickups. The Ram 1500 HFE with a 3.6-liter V6 gasoline engine is rated at 18 city/25 highway/21 combined.
In the fall, Ford will counterpunch in the pickup mileage fight with the redesigned 2015 F-150, which has a weight-saving aluminum body.