Ford will continue to invest in next-generation technologies such as hybrid and fuel cell engines despite its financial difficulties, its vice president for environmental and safety engineering said on Friday.

''Despite difficult times in Ford, we think it's extremely important to invest'' in developing new environment-friendly technologies, Susan Cischke told Kyodo News in Tokyo.

Ford has just reported a $5.8bn Q3 net loss, mainly due to poor sales of its vehicles in the US, bringing losses for the current business year so far to $7.2bn yen.

On the likelihood of shipping its full hybrid vehicles to the global market other than North America and Taiwan where it already markets such cars, Cischke, who has been in the post since 2001, said, ''We are studying that.''

''Hybrid technology is very important to us so we are looking at all our different business plans to see what makes sense,'' she said.

Cischke came to Japan to take part in the 22nd International Battery, Hybrid and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Symposium in Yokohama, the news agency noted.