Ford Motor has reached full-scale production of the Mariner Hybrid—its second hybrid vehicle on the market (earlier post)—at the Kansas City Assembly Plant. Initial production began in October.
Ford pulled planned production of the Mariner hybrid ahead by a year as part of its stepped-up hybrid commitment.
Lean and flexible manufacturing processes and specially trained employees at the plant allow the hybrids to be built on the same production line as the conventional Mariner and Ford Escape SUVs.
The Kansas City plant accommodates installation of unique Mariner Hybrid and Ford Escape Hybrid components at normal line speed. Among the hybrid components are a temperature management unit, electric battery pack, in-dash electrical outlet, regenerative braking system, power cables, electronic power assist steering, DC-to-DC converter, Atkinson-cycle engine and eCVT transmission.
The integration of hybrid assembly with conventional vehicles is a key component in Ford’s push to increase its hybrids production to 250,000 units annually by 2010.