With a planned increase in hybrid model production, Ford is on the hunt for hybrid drivetrain components. Ford's COO Jim Padilla made it clear that their current Japanese suppliers could not be relied upon to provide the volume of components necessary to fuel their hybrid production increases. Yeah, something about the 'predatory practices' of Japanese manufacturers who buy components from Aisin Seiki, Sanyo, and Panasonic that reduces the number of components available to Ford for their hybrids. Other component suppliers, including Johnson Controls and Siemens VDO, are touting their ability to supply hybrid components to Ford and other manufacturers. We're not certain that Ford's complaint about the Japanese manufacturers really matters, Toyota and Honda were making the hybrid bet long before Ford introduced the Escape Hybrid. At least one American automaker is getting serious about improving fuel economy.

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