What an amazing essay!
I would agree with Shrkatch that adopting a strategy of hedging steel prices at this time is not a great idea. While Ford is currently feeling the pain of its long-term decision not to hedge, there have been many years prior to now when this policy has been very advantageous to the company’s financial results. At this time, Ford runs the risk of ‘locking in’ at high steel prices that would diminish the company’s ability to capitalize on its no-hedging strategy in the future. While I thought the hedging proposal was awful, I did agree with the idea of shifting production towards aluminum. Carbon-fiber frames are a great idea in the long-term, but it will probably be several years (likely decades even) before carbon-fiber becomes a cost-effective alternative. In the meantime, I do not expect that consumers would be willing to pay extra for carbon-fiber frames. However, the shift to aluminum if financially viable to Ford and offers consumers the immediate benefit of improved gas efficiency as well as the opportunity to keep costs low, continue to meet consumer expectations of having a metal-framed vehicle, and to utilize a metal that is incrementally better for the environment.