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Press Release Source: Michelin/Challenge Bibendum

Alternate Fuel Vehicles and Cutting Edge Technologies Lead Ford Motor Company Entries for 2003 Challenge Bibendum(TM)
Tuesday August 26, 11:20 am ET

Manufacturer Enters Fuel Cell, Hybrid and Hydrogen Vehicles in Annual Environmental Event


DETROIT, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Advanced technology is the common theme in the wide variety of vehicles from Ford Motor Company that will be participating in the 2003 Challenge Bibendum September 23-25. The annual environmental vehicle competition organized and hosted by Michelin will feature more than 100 passenger and commercial vehicles -- including several technologies from Ford.

"The Ford vehicles participating in Challenge Bibendum demonstrate a viable step-by-step process for moving from the current gasoline economy to a hydrogen-powered economy," said Mike Schwarz, Director of Ford's Sustainable Mobility Technologies organization. "Each vehicle stands alone in its execution, yet in combination with the others shows the stages of our evolution to the hydrogen future."

The Ford Motor Company Team for the 2003 Challenge Bibendum includes:

    2003 Ford Focus H2ICE:     prototype compact car with an internal
                               combustion engine powered by gaseous hydrogen.
                               The vehicle is rated for carbon-based emissions
                               and reduces CO2 vehicle emissions by more than
                               99 percent compared to gasoline with up to 25
                               percent increase in fuel economy.

    2003 Hydrogen Hybrid
    Research Vehicles (H2RV): prototype concept car, based on a Ford Focus
                              wagon and propelled by a hydrogen-fueled
                              internal combustion engine coupled with a
                              Modular Hybrid Transmission System (MHTS). Its
                              emissions of carbon-based pollutants, as well as
                              carbon dioxide, are nearly zero.  The electric
                              motor in the automatic transmission allows the
                              H2RV to stop the internal combustion engine when
                              the vehicle is at rest and starts it again
                              quickly and smoothly. It also offers extra power
                              for accelerations, engine assist, provides
                              regenerative braking and offers a familiar
                              driving experience.

    2003 Ford Focus FCV (2):  two prototype fuel cell vehicles powered by
                              hydrogen fuel cells. The vehicles emit only
                              water vapor and use a Ballard fuel cell engine
                              that converts chemical energy into electrical
                              energy using hydrogen and water.

    2002 Ford E-350 Wagon:    commercial production vehicle, mainly used in
                              pick-up and delivery operations. The vehicle is
                              powered by an internal combustion engine that
                              runs on compressed natural gas (CNG) and is
                              certified SULEV.

"The Ford team for this year's Challenge Bibendum demonstrates how far alternative fuel vehicles have come," said Ron Musgnug, North American project leader for the 2003 Challenge Bibendum. "Ford will be showcasing four different technologies with both passenger and commercial vehicles in the competition."

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F - News) is the world's second largest automaker, with approximately 335,000 employees in 200 markets on six continents. Its automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Credit, Quality Care and Hertz. With world headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., Ford Motor Company officially observed its 100th anniversary on June 16, 2003. Additional information can be found on the company's web site at www.ford.com.

Challenge Bibendum(TM), considered one of the premier global events for advanced technology vehicles, was established by the Michelin Group as an objective way to bring together and test the best available technologies for environmentally positive vehicles. The annual event features vehicles from major manufacturers on three continents and brings together all partners in the automotive world: vehicle manufacturers, designers, energy suppliers, technical leaders, policy makers, universities and government organizations.

A true competition, Challenge Bibendum is one of the few events to compare different advanced technologies head-to-head. The event is open to all energy sources from electric cars to hybrid fuel cells to hydrogen powered buses. Advanced technology vehicles are rated on emissions, acceleration, braking, handling, noise and energy efficiency during the annual competition.

The 2003 Challenge Bibendum will be held in Sonoma and San Francisco, Calif., Sept. 23-25. In addition to Ford, other participating automakers include: Audi, American Honda, BMW, DaimlerChrysler, General Motors, Hyundai, Isuzu Truck, Nissan, Toyota, Volvo and Volvo Truck. Complete information is available at www.challengebibendum.com.

Michelin manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel guides, maps and atlases covering Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America (www.michelin.com) employs 24,640 and operates 22 plants in 18 locations.


Source: Michelin/Challenge Bibendum

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