- Ford's Kansas City Assembly Plant next summer will begin building the
industry's first hybrid electric SUV, the Ford Escape Hybrid.
- Escape Hybrid will deliver between
35 and 40 miles per gallon in city driving and an extremely clean level of emissions.
CLAYCOMO, Mo., Oct. 30, 2003 – The all-new 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid, the cleanest, most
fuel-efficient SUV ever mass produced, will be built at the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri,
beginning next summer, Ford Motor Company announced today.
Escape Hybrid is a full hybrid electric
vehicle able to run either on its gasoline or its electric motor, or both together, based on driver demand to
optimize performance and fuel economy. It will deliver acceleration similar to a V-6 Escape but will be extremely
fuel-efficient – between 35 and 40 mpg in stop-and-go city driving. It never will need to be plugged in. Emissions
will be extremely clean – Escape Hybrid will be certified to PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) standards.
"Ford Escape Hybrid is a no-compromise solution that helps to deliver on Ford's promise to work toward a better
world," said Phil Martens, group vice president, Product Creation. "It will offer four-wheel-drive and
uncompromised cargo capacity and ground clearance, while cleverly packaging a large battery pack. It will be
the first go-anywhere HEV."
Ford Escape and Escape Hybrid will be built on the same line at the Kansas
City Assembly Plant.
Earlier this year, new flexible manufacturing technology was introduced at Kansas
City Assembly to produce the all-new 2004 Ford F-150.
The new flexible system, which is being fully utilized
for F-150 production, can accommodate up to eight different models off two platforms, with maximum flexibility
for mix, volume and options in response to consumer demand.
Ford's flexible body shops employ an
industry-first system of 16 standardized cells, or modules, all built from about 300 components. Only
product-specific tooling needs to be changed, or computers and robots reprogrammed, to launch new products
– all with minimal investment and changeover loss.
"Kansas City is the right place to build this
innovative new product," Martens said. "The employees have demonstrated their commitment to quality and we
have made investments in flexible manufacturing."
By mid-decade in North America, about half of Ford's
body shops, trim and final assembly operations will be flexible. That number rises to 75 percent by the
end of the decade. The Kansas City Assembly Plant is the second of Ford's North American assembly plants
to employ the flexible system.
Kansas City Assembly currently produces the Ford F-150, Ford Escape
and Mazda Tribute.