This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 23, 2003

Ford Report: Company to Fall Short of SUV Fuel Economy Goal

A report released by Ford Motor Company on July 18th says that the company will not achieve its goal to improve the fuel economy of its fleet of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) by 25 percent by 2005. The goal received considerable attention when Ford announced it in July 2000. See the original Ford announcement.

According to the new report, Ford's SUV fleet for the 2003 Model Year will achieve an average fuel economy only 5.2 percent better than its 2000 Model Year. That marks a decrease in fuel economy relative to Ford's 2002 Model Year, which had achieved an 8.4 percent improvement. Ford notes that some of the key technologies slated to help reach the goal were delayed or eliminated "in large part because of cost-based decisions," notably an integrated starter-generator for the 2003 Explorer that would have automatically turned off the engine while stopped. On the positive side, Ford will introduce the Escape Hybrid next year, and will introduce fuel-saving variable cam timing and six-speed transmissions by 2005. See Ford's "Corporate Citizenship Report" or go directly to the section of the report on SUV fuel economy goals.