Ford May Restart Production of Its Biggest SUV

Ford Motor Co. disappointed enviros with an announcement this week that it may resume production of its monster-sized Excursion SUV, dubbed the Valdez by the Sierra Club. Last year, Ford said it would stop producing the Excursion after the 2004 model year because of falling sales, but now the company is reconsidering because, it says, the market for large SUVs is looking strong. The 3.5-ton Excursion gets about 10 miles to the gallon, or a little more with a diesel engine. Ford CEO William Clay Ford, Jr., has long talked about incorporating environmental values into the company, but he’s been short on action. “We’ve been waiting to applaud Ford for doing something right, but it’s getting to be a rather long wait,” said Dan Becker of the Sierra Club. Meanwhile, Toyota is considering adding its first-ever night shift at a Japanese factory in order to dramatically boost production of its efficient hybrid Prius; demand is running at almost double initial estimates.