Ford's group vice president for product creation, Phil Martens, recently declared at an industry conference that building hybrids is the right thing to do and that Ford would be focusing on developing hybrids to boost fuel economy rather than increase performance. Mr. Martens' headline quote has an almost morally righteous tone to it, which is surprising considering his is the company that gave us the Excursion. Was his statement a dig aimed at other hybrid manufacturers who have tapped into the performance potential of hybrid technology? Whatever Ford's intent on pronouncing hybrid production a free ticket to heaven, it better get moving if it wants to catch up to such saintly companies as Honda and Toyota.

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