Ford Rejects Plan to Build Escape Hybrid in Ohio

December 08, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, MI) announced that it has decided not to build a hybrid version of the Escape sport utility vehicle at its Ohio assembly plant. Ford had been considering building the hybrid Escape at the plant in suburban Avon Lake alongside the regular Escape, which will go into production there in the summer.

The hybrid Escape will use a small gasoline engine supplemented by an electric motor. Ford officials say it will offer the power of an SUV, but help save gasoline. Sales of the regular Escape have dropped 14.4 percent in the first 11 months of the year, according to J.D. Power and Associates. The Missouri plant that builds the Escape has not been working at full capacity, and demand for the hybrid vehicle has dropped.