Ford Aims to Develop Own Hybrid Components

Ford currently buys all of the hybrid transaxles, which combine an electric motor with a computer-controlled transmission, it needs from Aisin, a member of Toyota's supplier group.

Published: 26-Oct-2005

NEW YORK  - Ford Motor Co., rattled by rival Toyota Motor Corp.'s  moves to squeeze the supply of hybrid engine components, is moving to develop its own hybrid expertise, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The automaker also wants to cultivate ties with suppliers to ensure a more reliable supply of these components, the paper said.

Ford, the first Detroit-based automaker to bring to market a full-fledged hybrid, is also considering selling a Ford- designed hybrid in China, the paper said, citing the company's hybrid program manager, Mary Ann Wright.

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Third quarter losses and fierce competition for American car and truck buyers, prompted the automaker to launch a corporate-wide campaign last month to reposition Ford Motor as a leader in innovation and cutting-edge energy policies.

While Ford is having trouble getting hybrids to American buyers, in the UK, Ford cars average 20-40 mpg more than their US counterparts.

Ford's next hybrid will be the Fusion slated to be introduced in 2008, along with the Mercury Milan Hybrid.

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