Friday, September 23, 2005

Hybrid is HAPPENIN’!

Nothing indicates momentum like a full-page advertisement in a major daily newspaper. Using that criterion, I conclude that U.S. automakers finally get it! Yesterday’s Washington Post sported 2 full-page ads announcing the new partnership between BMW, DaimlerChrysler, and GM (“It takes a hybrid to build a better hybrid”) and Ford’s expanding commitment to “the American hybrid.” Wow. My head is spinning.

To top it off, the front page of the Business Section included a story about Ford’s new hybrid initiative. According to the story, Ford Motor Co. is concerned about the environment and the energy crisis, and plans to add a number of new hybrid models in the next few years. Wow again. Regardless of motives, the buying public seems destined to have a wider range of hybrid vehicle options, and that’s good.

With a late start on the market, U.S. automakers may have a tough run to catch up with Toyota (Prius, Highlander, and new Lexus RX), and Honda (Accord and Civic hybrids). Current offerings from Detroit include the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs, and Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra hybrid trucks.

A nice summary of current hybrid offerings, including miles/gallon, can be found at and more information on hybrid technology and available models is at

Other hybrid news:

  • Toyota commits to reducing the hybrid premium (the price differential between standard and hybrid models) by half. (full article)
  • Volkswagen announces it will make hybrids by 2008 with a Chinese partner for the China market. (full article)
  • Toyota says sales of hybrids are noticeably higher after Hurricane Katrina and the associated rise in gas prices. (full article)

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