MEDIA WATCH: Hybrid vehicles fuel broad conversation

Fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles are a hot story, as reports of record-high gas prices have been coupled with announcements of higher-performance, environmentally friendly cars, SUVs, and trucks. Bill Ford, chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Co., surprised his competitors and engaged a wide range of media by proposing that the government actually raise gas taxes in addition to providing tax breaks to hybrid buyers who are driven more by cost than concern for the environment.

Fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles are a hot story, as reports of record-high gas prices have been coupled with announcements of higher-performance, environmentally friendly cars, SUVs, and trucks. Bill Ford, chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Co., surprised his competitors and engaged a wide range of media by proposing that the government actually raise gas taxes in addition to providing tax breaks to hybrid buyers who are driven more by cost than concern for the environment.

Most frequent messages 1. Government should offer incentives to consumers 2. Ford will launch 3 new hybrid vehicles 3. Higher gas prices needed to drive sales 4. Consumers aren't worried enough about fuel economy 5. CA carpool-lane incentive will drive hybrid sales Based on 108 articles from major US media outlets from April 8-14. Evaluation and analysis by Cymfony

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