2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

Ford Motor Company celebrated the production of their 100,000th hybrid at their Kansas City Assembly Plant today. The company, which plans to increase hybrid car production this year with the incoming Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan models, used the day as an opportunity to plug their gas-electric program.

"As we celebrate our 100,000th hybrid, America's interest in hybrid vehicles keeps growing, as does Ford's commitment to advanced powertrain technologies that deliver greater fuel economy, lower emissions and help enhance our country's energy security," said Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford. "No domestic automaker has more real-world experience with hybrid vehicle technology than Ford, and it shows in the quality and fuel economy of our vehicles."

This may be true and the Ford Fusion Hybrid has received high praise so far. Nevertheless, the weak economy is hurting hybrid sales almost as much as those of traditional gas powered vehicles. Sales of light duty hybrids in the U.S. were down 29% in February compared to February of 2008. Light duty gas vehicle sales were down 41%.

Regardless, our reviews of Ford's hybrid products have been mostly positive and Ford deserves to acknowledge the success of their program. "All of us at the plant feel tremendous pride as we celebrate this important milestone," said Ken Ward, Kansas City plant manager. "We are as enthusiastic about building the 100,000th vehicle today as we were at the initial launch."

We're enthusiastic about it too.

Sources: Ford (via PRI News Wire), Green Car Congress