The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Ford Commits to Major SUV Fuel Economy Gains

27 July 2000

    WASHINGTON - 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

    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.