It seems like a good idea...but I think the press is still bashing "the rest of detroit" vs "japan", and giving Ford some credit. GM and Toyota worked together for many years -- the Corolla/Prism was built in an old GM plant in California, and for some years Toyota sold a rebadged Cavalier in Japan (the Toyota Cavalier).
I get the main point of the article, however, is that they are trying to make one car for the whole world to buy. I believe that a better solution would be to have a simple framework for the whole world, and local communities could tweak it to their preferences (diesel engines, large gas engines, manual transmissions, sports packages, etc.). The biggest thing Toyota did was build one system and use it repeatedly (i.e. steering, suspensions), not build the whole car in every place and hope for the best.
But I do hope Ford makes a nice pile of money because I want to buy one...they have a great strategy to give the customer a great product.
"It isn't what you drive that matters, it's how you drive it" - Jeremy Clarkson, Top Gear
Ford: Taurus ('91, 01) Focus ('09); Mercury: Sable ('95); Dodge: Neon ('95); Trek: 1000SL ('07) Yamaha: VStar 650 ('03)