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Speaking with Automotive News, George Pipas, a Ford sales analyst, explained that the automaker will continue to cut its sales to rental fleets in 2008, but not to the extent that it did this year. In 2007, FoMoCo decreased the amount of vehicles offloaded to rental lots by 30-percent, or 135,000 units.

Ford's chief sales analyst says the future of hybrids is "bright" but the main challenge remains: "What price are consumers willing to pay for technology?"

There will be no 2007 model year Mazda Tribute for U.S. consumers. The Blue Oval subsidiary's Escape/Mercury Mariner doppelganger will go on sabbatical from May on through the end of the year, though the move will reportedly not alter production levels (or employment) at the automaker's Claycomo, Kansas plant.

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