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Ford's Mulally: U.S. must take lead in green tech

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Ford's Mulally: U.S. must take lead in green tech

Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News

New York -- Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally opened the New York International Auto Show with a keynote address this morning that outlined the company's roadmap for delivering greener cars and trucks, but warned that the United States is falling behind in the race to develop new battery and powertrain systems.

"We have kind of relinquished our lead in many of these technologies," he said, calling on policymakers to do more to support research and development and calling for broader global action to support the switch to greener, cleaner vehicles.

"Governments around the world are going to have a tremendous role to play," Mulally said.

Incentives will be needed to help consumers afford emerging technologies like gasoline-electric hybrids and battery-electric because of their high initial expense, he said, and governments need to ensure the global playing field remains level.

Mulally said there is still "so much room to improve the internal combustion engine," but said Ford plans to roll out more hybrids and electric vehicles. The company also continues to develop hydrogen technology, though Mulally said it will require a major commitment by the world's governments to build the infrastructure necessary to support it.

It has been three years since Mulally's first visit to the New York show, and he said Ford's outlook has improved dramatically since then.

Ford was the only U.S. automaker to avoid bankruptcy and pass on a government bailout. It is taking market share away from its cross-town rivals.

"We're probably better positioned than ever before," Mulally said, pointing to the new cars and trucks Ford is rolling out this year. "If you want to be in the automobile business, it's really cool to be Ford."

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100331/AUTO01/3310390/1148/auto01/Ford-s-Mulally--U.S.-must-take-lead-in-green-tech#ixzz0jmDmEvIt

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This guy gets it. Instead of kicking and screaming against making necessary changes - changes that will help the viability of the company in the long run - Ford faces up to the challenges at hand.

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