Pollution Clogs the Auto Industry

With environmental groups beginning to break barriers in the fight against the SUV, the race for hybrid models is in full swing, and all the automakers are in the heat.

Published: 21-Jan-2005

the recent rash of recalls by American car makers, U.S. auto giant, Ford has announced an end to the production of their super-SUV, the Excursion.

Environmental groups had been vocal in their condemnation of the vehicle, which averages just 14 miles to the gallon. The Sierra Club has dubbed the vehicle the Ford Valdez, in "honor" of the Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska some years ago. Along with the Excursion, Ford has also decided to kill production of an unnamed midsize SUV as well as the Lincoln Aviator. Both the Excursion and the Aviator have seen sales drop 20% to 25%.

Other American carmakers as well are losing the fight against their Japanese rivals. Japan's Toyota is the first foreign maker to break the 'Top 3' in automobile sales in the United States, bumping Chrysler to #4. The appeal of premium fuel efficiency and extremely competitive prices has put the Japanese companies in the forefront, while American carmakers have been forced to cut costs and outsource just to keep up.

With environmental groups beginning to break barriers in the fight against the SUV, the race for hybrid models is in full swing, and all the automakers are in the heat.

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