Bill Ford Driving a Green Future

Ford's chairman sees auto industry getting leaner and greener in recovery
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Nov 24, 2008 8:35 AM CST
In this July 28, 2003, photo, Detroit Lions owner William Clay Ford, left, president Matt Millen, and vice chair William Ford Jr talk during the NFL team's practice in Allen Park, Mich.    (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
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(Newser) – While General Motors, Chrysler, and Congress are haggling over what strings to tie to a federal bailout, Ford chairman Bill Ford Jr is working behind the scenes to further his company's move toward greener, more fuel-efficient vehicles. The automaker, with enough cash on hand to get through 2009, isn’t in the dire straits its rivals are, reports the Wall Street Journal, and has steadily been moving toward an energy partnership with the government.

The only one of the Big Three not seeking a bailout, Ford has instead applied for $7 billion in federal loans to expand its line of fuel-efficient and hybrid vehicles. And Ford Jr is counting on federal help in rolling out national strategies such as electric cars (“One of the things we need to sort out as a country is batteries,” he says). But the scion says his company has already come a long way on energy: "In the next two years, 75% of our vehicles will qualify for (the federal) definition of advanced vehicle technology."