Ford Motor Co. has revised downwards the mpg numbers of six models -- 2014 Ford Fiesta; the 2013 and 2014 hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the Fusion and C-Max; and the 2013 and 2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. It is expected that the revision would negatively impact sales of those units – something that happened to the C-Max Hybrid when Ford revised its mpg numbers last summer.
Since the latest revision now includes six models, the company’s image and marketing strategy might be affected. Ford has built its marketing strategy on fuel economy and made vehicle electrification one of the priorities in product development.
The revisions will reflect changes of between 1 and 5 mpg, although the combined mpg figure for the MKZ Hybrid will go down 7 mpg, from 45 mpg to 38 mpg. That revision is expected to hurt Lincoln, which MKZ Hybrid accounts for 33 percent of MKZ sales and 14 percent of overall deliveries.
In fact, Lincoln had an ad campaign in 2013 boasting the MKZ Hybrid as being "the most fuel-efficient luxury hybrid in America," beating Toyota’s Lexus ES 300h that has an mpg number 40 mpg.
The revision now means that the 300h is now more fuel efficient than the MKZ Hybrid. Armed with new hybrids and plug-in vehicles, Ford has built its ad campaigns around mpg and has targeted Toyota in the effort.
It has invested millions of dollars to build its engineering capability in developing batteries and electronic powertrains. It dealers has also invested thousands of dollars in training employees to become certified to sell Ford's Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids. [source: Ford]