NEW YORK -- Ford Motor Co. said on Thursday it will take two to three years to reduce the extra cost of its next-generation F-150 pickup going into production this year.
Ford also said it would not meet its 2005 deadline for improving the fuel economy of its SUVs by 25 percent -- a high-profile promise made by Ford to much public acclaim three years ago.
Phil Martens, Ford's vice president of product creation for North America, said in an interview at the New York Auto Show that Ford had set up cost-cutting projects for the F-150 that would launch every six months or so after the vehicle goes into production in June. Analysts have said the new F-150, an update to Ford's best-selling vehicle, will cost roughly $1,500 more per truck to build than the old model.
Martens also said Ford had decided to delay its SUV fuel economy improvements in order to work on a 20 percent to 30 percent improvement in fuel economy, on average, across all of Ford's models by the end of the decade.