2009 Mercury Mariner HybridEnlarge Photo
Further proving that Ford is the one domestic carmaker that understands the brave new world of automaking, today its Kansas City assembly plant spit out their 100,000th hybrid SUV in five years of production. The plant produces the 2009 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner hybrid small SUVs.
The 2009 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner hybrids remain the highest mpg hybrid SUVs in the world, despite brash new entries like the Lexus RX450h. Both FoMoCo hybrid SUVs earn EPA ratings of 34/31 mpg, trouncing the aforementioned Lexus (in two-wheel drive form) by two and three mpg, respectively. Of course, the Lexus will leave the Ford SUVs in the dust (Ford claims 10.4 seconds to 60 mph), but good low-end torque from the Ford's electric motors mean perfectly acceptable around town acceleration especially considering all that frugality.
2009 Ford EscapeEnlarge Photo
While Obama's auto task force team is hunched over the negotiating table with the UAW, GM, and Chrysler, the UAW couldn't be happier concerning Ford's Kansas City operations. Jeff Wright, president of UAW Local 249 at the plant, commented: "We have a great workforce in
Rather than playing catch up, Ford is reaping the rewards of its hybrid prescience with both the Escape/Mariner and the award-winning 2010 Fusion hybrid. Plans to bring all-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and next-gen hybrids to market by 2012 should only strengthen their position, proving that taxpayer bailouts aren't necessary for successful domestic auto production.