Ford Motor Co. announced yesterday that it would make a 25 percent cut in production of its gas-guzzling Ford Excursion for the 2001 model year, but pinned the decision to poor consumer demand for the vehicle, not the company’s concerns about its environmental and safety problems. In a “corporate citizenship report” released last Thursday, Ford acknowledged that SUVs are bad for the environment (Ford Chair William Clay Ford, Jr., has jokingly referred to the 19-foot-long Excursion as the “Ford Valdez”). Still, the company is considering mass-producing a new wide-body vehicle, the Ford Equator. General Motors President G. Richard Wagoner, Jr., whose company produces the hulking Chevy Suburban, yesterday said he disagreed with Ford’s assessment of the environmental risks of SUVs. Meanwhile, drivers in the U.S. continue to burn through more gasoline than ever, even though they are paying higher prices at the pump.
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