Ford seeks to reignite consumer interest in C-Max Hybrid

Article by Andrew Christian, on April 29, 2014

Sales of the Ford C-Max Hybrid went from hot to cold when the carmaker had to lower the vehicle’s estimated fuel economy in August 2013. Now, Ford is trying to figure out how to revive demand for the offering. Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, told Automotive News in an interview at the New York

uto show that there is a need reinvest in the C-Max Hybrid because “it's a great product." Prior to August, the C-Max had fuel economy figures of 47 mpg city/47 highway/47 mpg combined.

But then, Ford faced lawsuits and complaints from customers who claimed their vehicles were not achieving the fuel economy figures as listed on the sticker – forcing the carmaker to restate its estimated fuel economy to 45 mpg city/40 highway/43 mpg combined.

Ford also paid $550 to buyers and $325 to lease customers. The bungled mpg numbers saw the sales of the C-drop from 2,411 in August to 1,424 in September, and it was a downward spiral for the vehicle since. In fact, Ford posted a 49-percent drop in sales of the C-Max in March and 54 percent to 3,933 in the first quarter of 2014.

To revive sales, Ford is dangling $1,000 cash or 1.9 percent financing for 60 months on the 2014 C-Max Hybrid. The deal is sweeter for the remaining 2013 C-Max Hybrids -- zero percent interest for 72 months plus $1,250 or $2,750 in total cash. According to dealers, customers have been less interested in the vehicle since its fuel economy numbers were restated.

Chris Lemley, owner of Sentry Ford-Lincoln in Medford, Mass., told Automotive News remarked the C-Max Hybrid is also being rivalled by Ford’s other hybrid offerings like the Fusion up to four-to-one. He remarked that customers think the Fusion “is a more substantial vehicle,” adding that the unit is a class bigger and covers more or less the same payment. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

Topics: ford, ford c-max, hybrid

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