Ford Rethinks Strategy on Hybrids
DETROIT --- Ford Motor Co. said this week the company will not meet its previously announced goal to build 250,000 gas-electric vehicles by the end of this decade. Instead, according to a New York Times report, Ford will shift its focus to developing vehicles than can run on such alternative fuels as E85, which blends ethanol and gasoline. Company officials told the newspaper that hybrid vehicles will still be in Ford's lineup, but they will more likely be cars instead of trucks or SUVs. The shift reflects a growing focus among American automakers on ethanol. The hybrid production goal was announced last September. In a statement to employees, CEO William Clay Ford Jr. said the change in strategy represented "an expansion of our commitment to other technologies." Instead of focusing so much on hybrids, the company plans to double the number of vehicles it makes that run on ethanol and other environmentally friendly fuels like biodiesel. "Our strategy going forward is not to wed ourselves to a single technology, but to manage a more flexible approach to meet our goals for customer needs, environmental impact and shareholder interests," Ford wrote.