Two headlines from the Detroit News today:
Ford plans big hybrid push: Automaker will offer gas-electric engines in half of Mercury, Lincoln and Ford models by end of decade.
Can new lineup of big SUVs revive GM? Ailing automaker hopes 12 full-size models will invigorate a segment that has been shrinking.
The first Detroit carmaker to produce a gas-electric vehicle, Ford plans to ramp up production of hybrids from several thousand in ‘05 to 250,000 by 2010, the sources said.
Ford also plans to step up development of vehicles running on alternative sources of energy, such as ethanol, and hydrogen-powered fuel-cell cars in a bid to recapture the high ground from leading Japanese automakers Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co.
Bill Ford is a longtime champion of environmental causes, but the Dearborn automaker’s main source of profit in recent years has been gas-guzzling trucks and sport utility vehicles. Light trucks, however, are starting to lose their appeal because of high gas prices.
by betting big on a redesigned fleet of 12 full-size SUVs, including the Chevrolet Tahoe and Cadillac Escalade, GM is trying to buck a consumer shift toward smaller, more fuel-efficient cars and crossover vehicles.
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Rising gas prices have hit the large SUV segment hard this year, with U.S. sales down 11 percent through August.
Yet GM, the biggest player in the full-size SUV market, expressed confidence that its new lineup will invigorate a segment that has been steadily shrinking.