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Ford Feeling Squeezed Out on Hybrid Components

8 August 2005

The Detroit News reports that Ford suspects that it may be getting squeezed out from supplies of critical components for hybrids by Toyota and Honda.

The components manufacturers are longtime suppliers, and in some cases, affiliates, of the two Japanese companies.

With the fall launch of the gas-electric Mercury Mariner, Ford is tripling its hybrid SUV lineup over three years. But its transmission supplier, Aisin Seiki Co. Ltd., can boost deliveries by only 20 percent, to 24,000 transmissions annually.

“Aisin, which is minority-controlled by Toyota, has interesting shareholders they have to answer to,” said Mary Ann Wright, director of Ford’s hybrid programs research and advanced engineering.

[...]Officials with Toyota, which owns 23 percent of Aisin, say the company has no desire or motive to limit hybrid component supplies to Ford or any other automaker.

Ford is looking for domestic suppliers as replacements, and to building internally.

Although Aisin supplied the transmission for Toyota’s first-generation Prius sedan, Toyota now produces its own third-generation hybrid transmissions in-house. GM will be producing its hybrid system (co-developed with DaimlerChrysler) at its Allison unit—the same group that produces the hybrid drive for transit buses.

“If Ford is serious about a hybrid future, it has to design its own transmission or find its own transmission supplier,” said [Lindsay] Brooke [an auto analyst at CSM Worldwide].

August 8, 2005 in Vehicle Systems | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

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Ford is looking for domestic suppliers as replacements, and to building internally.

I wish them tremendous success in this endevour.

Ford missed the boat like that dinosaur GM not believing that hybrids had a future back in the 90's when Toyota and Honda were developing them. Instead the American car companies continued to make big, inefficient porkmobiles. I hope they enjoy lining up for parts way behind the Japanese as a result of their lack of vision and innovation. It's shameful how far behind our auto industry is.

Not only will the supply of fuel not meet demand but also the supply of fuel saving technologies will not meet demand.

If you understood anything about manufacturing high tech products you would know instantly why an aemrican company would have had trouble finding suppliers. Japan is gadget heaven america is not its as simple as that. America is behind by about 5 years on alot of imporytant tech because YOU dont buy tech stuff nearly as much as japanese do. They simply out nerd us.

This could be a good thing for Ford. The hybrid craze has failed to mention what happens to batteries when they die out. I hear most Ist gen Prius batteries have already started dying out, Toyota is repplacing them kindly under warranty though.

They can use other technologies apart from the much hyped hybrids. For example, Using a turbocharged direct-injection 1.4L engine with stop start function can match or better the Out put of the current escape hybrid, while matching it in fuel consumption. Performance would be better, because there would be no battery burden.

The generative ability of batteries is very negligible, hybrid efficiency comes from the electric motor keeping the engine in its most efficient operating range. The suggestion I made above can be mass produced much quicker than the complex hybrid drivetrain without the strain on resources.

We are in this position because of our misplaced trust in market forces. We don't wait for the market to catch up to the desires of the military and we shouldn't have for our energy security either.

We are where we are today due to very poor political leadership.

Jimmy Carter encouraged solar power. I built a collector that was paid for by tax breaks. It saved me slightly over $18,360 on my gas bill over the next 13 years. This means that I didn't consume a lot of natural gas. AND - didn't put a lot of Co2 in the atmosphere.

I know how to build a 100 mpg automobile that has no loss of performance. I've been trying to give away the process/system to anybody and everybody. The persons that have shown *NO* interest are the American auto companies.

Guess if I live a few more years, I'll have the last laugh as I watch our economy collapse and the people left walking and riding horseback.

Post it hear or email me
I could use the break on my 2000 Astro Van.
Its really starting to hurt.

Bob

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