New TV spots stress automaker's fuel economy efforts such as first hybrid SUV.
Associated Press - June 24, 2006
Ford Escape Hybrid - World's first hybrid SUV.
DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. plans to launch television ads in July featuring Chairman and CEO Bill Ford Jr. talking about efforts to lessen U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
The latest salvo to improve the company's environmental reputation with the American public, the commercial is part of a series of ads Ford has been running since October that feature the executive talking about changes taking place at the auto maker.
In past spots, issues such as safety were addressed. The emphasis on oil dependence shifts the focus to a hot-button issue as high gasoline prices and concerns about energy independence weigh on consumers.
The move comes as U.S. automakers continue to face criticism for cultivating what has been often referred to as an addiction to oil. Ford, like its rival General Motors Corp., has long raked in the bulk of its North American profits by selling large pickup trucks and SUVs, many of which carry poor fuel-economy numbers.
Bill Ford will tout the automaker's recent efforts to improve the overall fuel economy of its lineup by introducing the market's first hybrid SUV and improving the efficiency of powertrains, Ford spokeswoman Becky Sanch said. Bill Ford has been at the center of the auto industry's oil debate since taking the helm of the automaker earlier in the decade. He has repeatedly made statements and even set company targets related to the need to boost fuel economy of cars and trucks.