Ford Will Begin Producing More Escape and Mariner SUVs in Third Quarter ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Ford Will Begin Producing More Escape and Mariner SUVs in Third Quarter

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ford Will Begin Producing More Escape and Mariner SUVs in Third Quarter

Ford Escape Hybrid BadgeIn other words, Ford may finally be ready to increase the number of hybrids they are willing to sell.

Up till now, Ford has put a cap on the number of hybrids they were willing to sell. It was like they made a conscious decision... 'we can build and sell XX thousand a year a year (25,108 in 2007, 22549 in 2006, 15,880)' and who can blame them? They were reportedly losing money on each hybrid sold. But they didn't want to be seen as being 'out of it' when it came to hybrids. And as long as the Escape Hybrid was seen as one of the best choices when it came to hybrid SUVs, they seemed happy with it.

But high gas prices are forcing them to cut production on their trucks and larger SUVs, For is looking to make the volume with smaller cars and small SUVs like the Escape and Mariner. Also, one Ford exec was quoted as saying (I'm paraphrasing here) with the upcoming release of the Milan and Fusion hybrids, they will finally start making a profit on hybrids.

So, Ford will be adding a third shift at the Kansas City Assembly Plant's line that produces the Ford Escape, Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner and Mariner Hybrid. Which means we may start seeing a significant increase in hybrid sales starting in the third quarter that is not due to Toyota.

"We view the move to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles as permanent, and we are responding to customer demand," Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally said in a statement released today. "In the near term, we are adjusting production to the actual demand - increasing small cars and crossovers and reducing large trucks and SUVs. For the long term, we are moving fast to introduce more small cars, crossovers and fuel-efficient powertrains - including more hybrids - and we will adjust our manufacturing facilities to match our updated product lineup."

That shift to produce more hybrids includes the Milan and Fusion, which are built using the same hybrid motor as the Escape and Mariner.

Photo from flickr by super-structure.

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