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Ford Enters Hybrids Race

April 15, 2003

Ford Motor Co., fighting to keep pace in the race to produce fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles, is completing development of a gas-electric power train that can potentially be used in multiple car and truck models, according to the Detroit News.Ford will offer the hybrid technology first in its Escape sport-utility vehicle, which goes on sale later next year. The automaker hopes to sell 25,000 to 30,000 Escape hybrids annually, the News said.Chairman Bill Ford Jr. and other Ford executives have said the next gas-electric powered Ford vehicle will be a family sedan. Ford is expected to unveil the Escape Hybrid and outline its hybrid strategy this week at the New York Auto Show, according to the News.The company originally hoped to begin selling the Escape hybrid later this year, but was forced to push back its debut to ensure the technology was perfected, the News reported.Hybrid vehicles are fast becoming a battleground among major automakers, with a growing number of consumers willing to pay for such technology. Many experts now believe gas-electric hybrids have a chance to become the first alternative-powered cars to gain mainstream success, according to the News.
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