Bloomberg reports today
that Ford Motor Co. plans to invest 1 billion pounds ($1.84 billion) over the next six years on U.K. based research and development to improve the fuel economy of its vehicles, and offer customers more engine choices. Ford's European executive vice president Lewis Booth said the R&D will focus on a suite of technologies in order to continually lower CO2 emissions. The funds will be spent at the three major technology centers in Britain: in Dunton, Whitley and Gaydon. While the effort sounds substantial, the funds are generated solely by rebalancing the research and development money, and not by adding to Ford Motor Co.'s R&D budget. The program is targeting a fuel economy improvement of the company's Focus model by 20 percent over the next 10 years to about 70 miles per gallon.