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To view a video on Clinton and the Mercury Mariner Hybrid, "Presidential Edition", please CLICK HERE.(Real Media).  
Ford Delivers a Mercury Mariner
Hybrid to Former President Clinton

Ford Motor Company delivered a Mercury Mariner Hybrid "Presidential Edition" to former President Bill Clinton. This marks the first hybrid vehicle to be outfitted for presidential service. The car was formally accepted by the former President himself at a Global Initiative conference on Sept. 20-22nd in New York City.

Financially strapped domestic automakers could turn their losses to profits at the expense of foreign car companies by improving fuel-economy performance across their model lineups—with Ford Motor Co. reaping the greatest profits, according to a new study by the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).

Conversely, Ford, General Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler Corp. stand to lose billions if they do not.

"Even the Big Three now acknowledge that high gas prices and their overdependence on fuel-inefficient SUVs and pickup trucks have accelerated their financial freefall," said Walter McManus, head of UMTRI's auto analysis division. "The findings of our report prove in sharp detail Detroit automakers' long-term vulnerability to volatile gas prices and show that improved fuel economy fleetwide—above and beyond current regulation—is the key not just to their survival but their success, even if the price of gas goes down."

If all automakers follow a proactive strategy, the report finds that:

• Ford has more opportunities to improve fuel economy fleetwide than do GM or DaimlerChrysler and can narrow its fuel-economy disadvantage against the Japanese automakers more than their U.S. rivals.

• At $3.10 a gallon, domestic automakers could increase profits by $2 billion collectively, with an annual profit increase of $1.4 billion at Ford, $500 million at GM and $100 million at DaimlerChrysler.

• At $3.10 a gallon, Japanese automakers could lose up to $600 million.

• Even at $2 per gallon, the Big Three could increase profits by $1.3 billion, while the Japanese could lose $300 million.

If all automakers follow a business-as-usual approach, the study shows that:

• At $3.10 a gallon, U.S. automakers could lose as much as $3.6 billion in profits, compared with a smaller loss of $800 million for Japanese automakers.

• At $2 a gallon, domestic automakers would fare better than their Japanese counterparts, with profits between $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion, compared to $300 million for the Japanese.

It's no secret that President Clinton is a strong advocate of issues such as alternate energy and climate change. Earlier this month, he announced the formation of the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), a project that is dedicated to making a difference in the fight against global warming.

Also recently, the Mercury Mariner Hybrid was named among the top 30 environmentally friendly vehicles, according to J.D. Power and Associates.

© Contacto Magazine - September 26, 2006
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