Ford commits to major SUV fuel
WASHINGTON, DC, JULY
27, 2000 - Ford Motor Company will increase the fuel economy of its
Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) fleet in the United States by 25 percent
by the 2005 calendar year.
The commitment covers the company's entire SUV line-up, including
the vehicles of Land Rover, Ford's most recent automotive
acquisition. Other products in the SUV line-up include: Ford
Explorer, Expedition and Excursion, Mercury Mountaineer, Lincoln
Navigator, and the newly introduced Ford Escape.
"We are taking this very significant action with some of our most
popular products because it is the right thing to do for our
customers and for our stockholders," said Jac Nasser, president and
chief executive officer. "It is the next logical step in our
'Cleaner, Safer, Sooner' campaign, which we began with the
announcement two-and-a-half years ago that all Ford Motor Company
Sport Utility Vehicles would be low emission vehicles."
"SUV customers are asking for more fuel efficient vehicles. Our
strategy is to maintain and enhance the function of their SUVs while
making substantial fuel economy improvements," Nasser said. "This
is customer-driven environmental responsibility. We aren't asking
our customers to compromise safety, performance or functionality."
"This initiative also responds to a growing societal objective,
strengthens Ford Motor Company's environmental leadership role, and
supports our corporate citizenship policies," he added.
Nasser announced the fuel economy commitment during a speech today
at the National Press Club.
Under its "Cleaner, Safer, Sooner" pledge, Ford Motor Company has
stated it will make significant improvements to its products in the
areas of safety and environment when the technology is available,
the action is affordable, and when the application can be done in
large volume for maximum positive impact.
About 70 percent of the fuel economy gains will be achieved through
improvements in existing vehicle lines, including the application of
advanced powertrain technologies, weight reductions, and improved
aerodynamics. The other 30 percent of improvements will come from
new entries into the market like the Escape and Escape Hybrid.
On existing products, a systems engineering approach will be used,
with improvements being made across the board in both powertrain and
non-powertrain areas. Applied technologies will include some of the
ideas developed in Ford's Partnership for a New Generation of
Vehicles (PNGV) activity.
The company estimates that the average Ford SUV buyer will use 1,700
fewer gallons of gasoline through the life of their vehicle, saving
more than $2,400 in fuel costs.
In addition to its fuel economy commitment in the U.S., Ford also
has voluntarily made all its SUVs and the Windstar minivan low
emission vehicles as of the 1999 model year. The company made a
similar commitment with F-Series pickups, as of the 2000 model year.
There presently are more than 2.5 million Ford SUVs and trucks on
the road in the U.S. meeting the government's low emission
requirement years ahead of the regulatory timetable.