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Old 08-20-2002, 23:15   #1 (permalink)
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Ford Doesn't Plan Many New `Green' Initiatives

Dow Jones reported that the Ford Motor Co. , struggling to balance Chairman William Clay Ford Jr.'s progressive ideals with the company's stark business problems, says it probably won't launch many major new programs in the next few years to clean up its cars and trucks, and warned that delivering on the green promises it already has made will be "harder" than it thought, Tuesday's Wall Street Journal reported.

In Ford's latest annual "corporate citizenship" report, which one environmental group criticized as a "step backward," the No. 2 auto maker says it isn't backing away from ecological promises it has made in the past few years -- promises the company has touted heavily in advertisements and in lobbying on Capitol Hill. The company still intends to improve the fuel economy of its sport-utility-vehicle fleet by 25% between 2000 and 2005; to roll out a hybrid gasoline-and-electric version of its Escape small SUV by the end of 2003; and to renovate its old Rouge factory near Detroit into a model of earth-friendly manufacturing, company officials say.

But as Ford struggles to put behind it 2001, a year of losses that set the stage for layoffs, no one should expect the company to make many big new green promises, the report makes clear. Like most other auto makers, Ford's most- profitable products are its SUVs and pickup trucks, which are increasingly popular with Americans at a time of cheap gas but which prompt intense anger from environmentalists. The increasing popularity of SUVs is the major reason why the carbon-dioxide emissions of the average Ford vehicle actually were slightly higher in 2001 than five years earlier, according to the report.

Ford's report amounts to a challenge to environmentalists to persuade the company that making greener vehicles really will improve the auto maker's bottom line.

Wall Street Journal Staff Reporter Jeffrey Ball contributed to this report.
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My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

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