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Ford To Boost Hybrid Production

There may be mass relief for drivers looking for a way to reduce reliance on gasoline. The only trouble is, it may be several years away yet.

Ford Motor Company's chairman and CEO says innovation is what made the number-two automaker great. And he says that is what will help drive it in the future.

Speaking at the company's research lab, Bill Ford announced an ambitious plan to offer hybrid versions of more than half the lineups of its Ford, Mercury and Lincoln brands by
2010. He says the nation is facing a "multi-dimensional energy crisis."

"We know that our customers are concerned about energy. Our job is to alleviate some of their concerns with viable options in their choice of transportation.''

He told employees that the goal is to produce as many as a 250,000 hybrids by the end of the decade, marking a ten-fold increase. He says the automaker will be able to scale up beyond that if there's demand.

Ford also said the company will be releasing four vehicles that can run on fuel-efficient ethanol in 2006: the F-150 truck and Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car sedans.

Ford said the U.S. automaker plans to produce 280,000 ethanol-capable vehicles in 2006.

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