It's rare to see the Blue Oval do such a direct callout.
Last year, Ford joined Volkswagen, BMW, and Honda in making a deal with California to meet specific emissions and efficiency benchmarks. The coalition was formed amid the Trump administration's move to dial back such measures on a national scale. Now, Ford is moving into a new marketing campaign that focuses on this effort, and the first clip isn't shy about pointing a disapproving finger at its crosstown rivals.
The ad, which is currently unlisted on YouTube, has the lengthy title California Innovation: Fighting to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions. At just shy of one minute, the bulk of the clip features quick cut scenes of people and places in California, interlaced with a theme of leadership and innovation from The Golden State. The video then loosely references the aforementioned coalition by stating California asked automakers to cut greenhouse gas emissions. That's when the gloves come off with a direct swipe at competitors Jeep, Chevrolet, and Toyota – automakers which the video claims said no.
It's certainly a very interesting coincidence that this new Ford campaign coincides with California's announcement of a ban on new internal-combustion vehicle sales starting in 2035. According to Automotive News, this was reportedly just a coincidence but it's also hard to ignore that California Governor Gavin Newsom signed this executive order on the hood of an emissions-free Ford Mustang Mach-E. At the very least, it's likely the lines of communication between Ford and California leaders are open and active.
Gallery: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ford's claim of Jeep and Chevrolet – and by association Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and General Motors – saying no is certainly a direct callout and likely debatable. According to Automotive News, GM responded to the ad by highlighting its current and future electric offerings, which are poised to expand in the coming years. Toyota reaffirmed its commitment to year-over-year increases in fuel economy standards. Curiously, FCA had no comment on the matter.
Last year, all three automakers threw public support to a single national standard as part of the Coalition for Sustainable Automotive Regulation. The coalition intervened in legal action surrounding the Trump administration's withdrawal of the waiver granted to California in the Clean Air Act, siding with the Trump administration's actions.