FORD AUTO TO FACE FUEL EFFICIENCY FIASCO - Mitch Perry

08/04/04

Tomorrow the Ford Motor Company will release its new hybrid vehicle, the Ford Escape. But a coalition of environmental and Human Rights groups today used the occasion to blast the American automaker, saying it was a token gesture by a company that consistently produces cars with the worst auto mileage.

The basis for much of the advocacy groups anger is the fact that they say that Ford should improve the fuel economy across their entire fleet of cars.

Andrew Shalit is the Program director for the group EcoPledge, a nonprofit that works with companies to improve corporate environmental practices. (roll tape#1 o.q."Escape Hybrid")

Jason Mark is the Clean Car Campaigner for the San Francisco based human rights group, Global Exchange.....He says in a word, he's underwhelmed by the new Ford hybrid (roll tape# 2 o.q." tokenism a bad name")

And Mark says it's baffling that Ford is producing such a relatively light amount of these hybrids, considering the demand for hybrids produced by Honda and Toyota

(roll tape#3 o.q."unfortunately not")

Mike Leoni is from Green Century Capital Management which is a mutual fund company that focuses on environmental responsible investing. (roll tape#4 o.q. "and Ford will tell")

When asked why the groups were targeting Ford, and not legislators to force the Auto Giant to improve Fuel Economy Standards, Gretchen Du Bo from the Group US PIRG responded (roll tape#5 o.q."and trucks"")

But there has been legislation proposed in the Senate to increase so called CAFÉ standards by among others, John Kerry that has no where...Again, .Global Exchange's Jason Mark (roll tape#6 o.q."In the grip of inaction")

Calls to Ford Motor Company in Detroit were not returned by airtime.

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