Ford Dealers Hope Hybrids Will Lead Way Out of Morass

Ford president Mark Fields says the way forward begins in the design studio, as well as building more gas-electric versions of its product line.

Published: 25-Jan-2006

After decades of declining sales and market share, Ford's top executives acknowledged Monday that the company can't survive if it keeps bringing its B-game to American customers.

"The way forward," as Ford calls its recovery plan, "begins in the design studio," said Mark Fields, president of Ford North and South America.

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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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