October 31, 2003

Ford Escape Hybrid to be built in Kansas City

Claycomo, Mo. – The 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid will be built at the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri, beginning next summer, Ford Motor Company announced yesterday.

Escape Hybrid is a full hybrid electric vehicle able to run either on its gasoline or its electric motor, or both together, based on driver demand to optimize performance and fuel economy. It will deliver acceleration similar to a V-6 Escape but will be extremely fuel-efficient – between 35 and 40 mpg in stop-and-go city driving. It never will need to be plugged in. Emissions will be extremely clean – Escape Hybrid will be certified to PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) standards.

“Ford Escape Hybrid is a no-compromise solution that helps to deliver on Ford’s promise to work toward a better world,” said Phil Martens, group vice president, Product Creation. “It will offer four-wheel-drive and uncompromised cargo capacity and ground clearance, while cleverly packaging a large battery pack. It will be the first go-anywhere HEV.”

Ford Escape and Escape Hybrid will be built on the same line at the Kansas City Assembly Plant.

Earlier this year, new flexible manufacturing technology was introduced at Kansas City Assembly to produce the 2004 Ford F-150.

The new flexible system, which is being fully utilized for F-150 production, can accommodate up to eight different models off two platforms, with maximum flexibility for mix, volume and options in response to consumer demand.

Ford’s flexible body shops employ an industry-first system of 16 standardized cells, or modules, all built from about 300 components. Only product-specific tooling needs to be changed, or computers and robots reprogrammed, to launch new products – all with minimal investment and changeover loss.

By mid-decade in North America, about half of Ford’s body shops, trim and final assembly operations will be flexible. That number rises to 75 percent by the end of the decade. The Kansas City Assembly Plant is the second of Ford’s North American assembly plants to employ the flexible system.

Kansas City Assembly currently produces the Ford F-150, Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute.

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