~e; Fwd: Report: Ford Drops Hybrid SUV Plan

From bc <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Sun, 18 Nov 2001 18:43:31 -0600

  [ironic news, in a recession bound economic climate, 'a key 
indicator' of growth being
  the massive car sales with 0% interest, moving new cars out of 
dealer lots and making
  a driving force in the USA's economic climate. the assumption being 
that oil will stay at
  low or moderate prices, and people may be spending their extra money 
to get a great
  deal now, as they can weather things as they are, in this scenario. 
but what if the oil
  prices do not stay contained, if there is a price war, or something 
such that these same
  people buying cars while they can, will have to pay more money for 
gas if 'the war' goes
  beyond its original parameters, and into an oil-production/reduction 
scenario, ala 1970s.
  the same people who may be buying cars today could be harder hit if 
prices go up, as an
  unexpected rise in costs could cost more than not buying a 
fuel-inefficient vehicle. this
  strategy, unfortunately, could be averted if the government promoted 
new vehicles as
  a way to save money and energy and invest in the future 
infrastructure but there is no
  such voice/initiative in these times. i believe the hyrids from 
Japan could not be built
  fast enough, and the last lesson for the US auto industry was that 
the larger cars and
  the US car industry was toppled by smaller, more fuel-efficient 
vehicles in the 1970s,
  during a potentially similar scenario. this time, the cars are hybrids....]

>Report: Ford Drops Hybrid SUV Plan
>Associated Press
>DEARBORN&#44;      Mich. (AP)  --        Ford Motor Co. has killed 
>plans to use a form of hybrid power on the Explorer sport-utility 
>vehicle&#44;      an effort that had been designed to sharply 
>improve fuel efficiency&#44;      a newspaper said Friday.
>The Explorer is the world'     s best-selling sport-utility vehicle.
>Ford engineers and other insiders told the Detroit Free Press that 
>the automaker acted because of a cash crunch and less success with 
>the gasoline-electric hybrid than expected.
>As a result&#44;      the automaker decided to limit the hybrid 
>system to smaller trucks and cars&#44;      the newspaper said. The 
>system tends to boost efficiency more in smaller vehicles.
>The so-called mild hybrid uses an integrated starter generator. When 
>the vehicle stops&#44;      the gas engine shuts off. At 
>acceleration&#44;      the system restarts instantly and gives the 
>vehicle a boost to take off.
>The starter generator was a key component to Ford'     s plan to 
>boost sport-utility fuel efficiency by 25 percent by 2005&#44; 
>a promise that then chief executive Jacques Nasser made in July.
>Ford declined to comment on the move to drop the hybrid-powered 
>Explorer but said it stands by the 25-percent improvement goal.
>The automaker'     s environmental goals have taken on greater 
>prominence because chairman and new chief executive William Clay 
>Ford Jr. has been an advocate of making automakers more 
>environmentally sensitive.

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