Friday, January 7, 2011

Ford Motor Co. Hedging Its Bets

Nissan Motor Corp has made a huge bet on its all-electric Leaf, including a battery plant built with US$1.4 billion in U.S. government funding in Tennessee. That strategy carries a risk; the car needs to be a hit. "If that thing doesn't sell what are they going to do?" Ford says.

By contrast, Ford is going green but hedging its bet on how many electric cars customers will want. Its Wayne, Michigan plant will build all kinds of Focus sedans -- from pure electric to conventional gas-engine -- depending on customer orders.

"We're going to have a plug-in, a conventional hybrid, a pure electric and a gasoline engine all going down the same assembly line," he said. "It will be up to the customer then to decide what best fits for them."

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