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Subject:  Re: Fun at the Auto Show Date:  1/12/2004  3:04 PM
Author:  AcmeFool Number:  30506 of 73997

Bob Lutz, of GM, suggests that Toyota is going about it all wrong. They'd get more bang for the buck if they took the hybrid and put it in the cars/trucks that need the most improvement in fuel economy first, like SUV's and trucks, not little cars.

Maybe he meant to say that about Honda...because they are only doing it with the smaller cars. But Toyota has one car (2 generations) and they are coming out with 2 SUVs this year that will have hybrid engines -- the Lexus RX330 (which will be the first hybrid SUV released to the market...before GM's or Ford's) and the Toyota Highlander.

Toyota has long seen the need for hybrids on that end of the market...but they wanted to test things out for a bit on the end of the market most likely to buy a hybrid vehicle -- those that are strong believers in buying fuel efficiency ahead of some other desires.

The funny thing is...when the Ford Escape hybrid comes out, it is going to have an engine based on the Toyota *first generation* hybrid technology. Toyota sold this technology to Ford and some others once they had completed the second generation technology. I don't think Ford has done too much to update this since they bought it, so they are at least 3 years behind Toyota...and they are not likely to ever catch up.

(whose father-in-law is friends with all the really bigwigs at Toyota)
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