* Four new vehicles for 2006 will run largely on ethanol, raising the production of Flexible Fuel Vehicles in 2006 to as many as 280,000 units.
"From this point forward, innovation will be the compass by which the company sets its direction," Ford told employees. "Today, I am renewing the promise of Ford Motor Company -- to again be first in delivering innovative products to our customers -- stylish in design, safer for families, first in technology that uses new fuels and offers new services to consumers."
Presently, Ford produces about 24,000 hybrid vehicles annually. Ford is the only American auto company to produce hybrids and was the first in the world to offer an SUV hybrid. That vehicle was the Ford Escape Hybrid, the cleanest, most fuel-efficient SUV on the road. The critically acclaimed Ford Escape Hybrid added to its growing list of recognitions and accolades the title of North American Truck of the Year at this year's North American International Auto Show.
Shortly after receiving that award from a distinguished panel of 50 automotive journalists, Ford announced it would pull ahead to this year the production of its second hybrid, the Mercury Mariner Hybrid. Mercury began taking orders for the Mariner Hybrid in July.
By 2008, Ford will have five hybrids on the road, including the Ford Escape, Mercury Mariner, Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Mazda Tribute. By 2010, Ford plans to increase hybrid production to approximately 250,000 units annually -- with more than half of the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury lineup having hybrid capability.
In his speech to employees, Bill Ford challenged them to make innovation a top priority, building on the heritage and history of the company. Whenever technology has been available to improve safety or the environment, Ford has a strong history of sharing it with others to benefit consumers and society.
For the first time, Ford is offering Flexible Fuel technology on America's best-selling vehicle -- the Ford F-150 -- for the 2006 model year. Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car also will offer the ethanol-fueled option in 2006.
Other key actions being taken include:
* A new corporate marketing and communications campaign in the fall that focuses on innovation and further cements the company's commitment to being a leader in safety, technology and design innovation.
* Renaming the Ford Science Research Lab the Ford Research and Innovation Laboratory.
* Initiating a pilot program that will offset the greenhouse gasses emitted in the manufacture of hybrid vehicles. The carbon offset program will pay for projects around the world that reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
"Innovation -- in safety, in the environment, in design and in technological solutions to real world problems -- is going to be reclaimed as our natural birthright," Ford said. "It will be the lens through which we view our budgets and our capital investments, our people and programs, and the way in which we rank our most essential priorities."
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures and distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With more than 324,000 employees worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Motor Credit Company.
CONTACT: Tom Hoyt of Ford Motor Company, +1-313-322-1524, Email Contact