2009 Ford Escape Hybrid - Click above for high-res image gallery
Last week, our friends from Consumer Reports got the chance to sit down with Mark Fields, Ford's vice president of North American operations, and some interesting information was gleaned. For instance, CR says Fields "implied the company isn't making money on the hybrids it sells today, and it is looking at ways to 'enhance revenue' from them." Not surprising, really, but an interesting admission nonetheless.
There are a few ways Ford could try and recoup some of its hybrid powertrain R&D costs, most logically being to extend the technology across its line and into more expensive products – possibly from Lincoln, mimicking the strategy Toyota uses with its Lexus division. In addition to hybrid and electric cars, Fields says Ford is also interested in diesels but isn't currently planning to sell any oil burners in passenger cars. Instead, Ford's diesel efforts are likely to continue focused on pickups.
Speaking of which, Ford's light duty diesel engine for the F-150 is apparently still somewhat on the agenda. Earlier reports, says Fields, that said the program had been canceled aren't entirely accurate. Instead, the smaller diesel was merely "delayed," though we have no idea for how long.
[Source: Consumer Reports]