Yesterday President George Bush took some time away from his other problems and flew to the mid-west to visit two domestic brand assembly plants that are building hybrid vehicles. After stopping by the GM Fairfax, Kansas plant he went on the Ford Kansas City plant. The GM plant turns out the Saturn Aura hybrid and will build the Malibu hybrid this fall. Kansas City is home to the Ford Escape/Mercury Mariner hybrids and flex-fuel F-Series pick-up trucks.

CEO Alan Mullaly and the President toured the assembly line that turns out the hybrids and then got an up close look at the HySeries drive Ford Edge before he delivered a speech to a group of plant employees. The Edge was the plug-in series hybrid CUV with a fuel cell to provide extra range that AutoblogGreen drove in early February. In his speech Bush thanked the employees for helping to produce the technology that will help ensure the country's energy independance. The Ford press release is after the jump.

[Source: Ford]
PRESIDENT BUSH VISITS FORD'S KANSAS CITY PLANT: HOME OF FULL-HYBRID SUVS AND E85 TRUCKS

President Bush (R) toured Ford's Kansas City Assembly plant where America's first SUV hybrid electric vehicles and E85 F-150 trucks are built.

* President tours Kansas City Assembly Plant's hybrid assembly line to view production of Escape Hybrid and Mariner Hybrid.
* President thanks Kansas City Assembly Plant employees for helping to deliver energy security by building hybrids and E85 vehicles.
* KCAP employees hear President explain how American technology and innovation will lead to energy security.

KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 20, 2007 – Ford Motor Company today hosted President George W. Bush at the company's Kansas City Assembly Plant where the President thanked employees for being part of the solution to the country's energy issues by building hybrid and E85 vehicles.

The President toured the hybrid assembly line and addressed more than 300 employees about the role American technology and innovation will play in delivering energy security to the country.

"Technology changes the way we have lived our lives and technology is going to change the way we drive our cars," said the President. "You're making a new kind of automobile that is literally a part of changing America for the better."

Alan Mulally, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company, welcomed President Bush to the plant and thanked him for coming to see first-hand how Ford is delivering advanced technology vehicles to address climate change and energy security.

"Ford stands ready to work with the Administration and Congress to reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil," Mulally said. "At Kansas City Assembly, we are doing some exciting things. In addition to producing the nation's first hybrid electric SUV, we are also building the best-selling pickup truck in the world – the Ford F-150 – capable of running on E85 ethanol, gasoline or any combination of the two fuels."

"We are also developing a range of advanced technologies that improve fuel efficiency, such as clean diesel, plug-in hybrids, hydrogen internal combustion engines, hydrogen fuel cells and advanced gasoline engines," Mulally adds. "These advanced technologies will help reduce green house gas emissions and lessen our dependence on foreign petroleum."

Ford recently invested $100 million in its Kansas City plant to produce the new, 2008 model of both the conventional and hybrid Ford Escape. Escape was the world's first hybrid SUV.

In addition to the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner Hybrid vehicles and E85-capable F-150 pickup, Ford showed the President the Ford Edge with HySeries Drive™ – the world's first drivable fuel cell hybrid electric vehicle with plug-in capability.

"It is an extraordinary honor for us to welcome the President into our plant," said Ken Ward, plant manager, Kansas City Assembly. "Our employees had the opportunity to explain the hybrid production process and demonstrate their commitment to building the best hybrid and E85 vehicles in the world."

Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With more than 280,000 employees and more than 100 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo, Aston Martin and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.fordvehicles.com.

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