Ford Motor Co. estimates that for this year, it will end up with 11% of the U.S. market for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles. This bodes well for its goal to challenge Toyota Motor Corp.'s dominance in the U.S. hybrid market. If Ford hits this target, it would be a record and is actually more than double its present share of 5.2% in the U.S. electrified vehicle market.
Auto information site Edmunds.com said that that demand for the Prius hybrid helped Toyota to get a 70.4% share of the electrified vehicle market in the first 10 months of the year. Ford's bigger U.S. competitor General Motors makes up 12.5% of the market. But Edmunds.com data indicate that Toyota's market share has fallen to 60.9% in October.
On the other hand, Ford took an 11.8% share of the market in October. Offering a better fuel economy is one of the central pillars of Ford’s business strategy. Ford has also not made a secret of its plan to rival Toyota when it comes to fuel economy. Last Thursday, Michael O'Brien, Ford's electrification marketing manager, said that Ford isn’t a pioneer in this segment but it is confident that its products have many attributes that are the best in the market.
Ford’s new C-Max lineup of hybrid and plug-in hybrid crossovers are positioned to directly rival the Prius brand. For the month of November, Ford sold a record figure of over 6,000 electrified vehicles. Ford added that about 4,400 of those sales have originated from Ford's newly launched C-Max hybrid and plug-in hybrid. Ford said that the Fusion hybrid, which earned the Green Car of the Year award, is one of the fastest-turning nameplates in Ford's dealerships.
Ford has two new hybrid cars: the C-MAX Hybrid and the Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. They will be available in 2012 and are both expected to be setting a new benchmark when it comes to fuel economy.
C-MAX Energi is projected to offer better fuel economy in electric mode compared to Toyota’s Prius plug-in hybrid, which has a 500-mile driving range. Meanwhile, the C-MAX Hybrid is expected to deliver better fuel economy compared to the Toyota Prius v.
Both of the cars boast the next-generation of the carmaker’s acclaimed powersplit technology, which allows you to operate in electric mode at a higher speed compared to any other hybrid.
Sherif Marakby, Director - Electrification Programs and Engineering at Ford, said that the Ford C-MAX is the right vehicle for the time because it combines together a MAV’s versatility, a traditional car’s quality and dynamics, and leading fuel efficiency.
The two C-MAX hybrids topbill Ford's transformed lineup, of which one-third is going to feature a model in 2012 with 40 mpg or more, building on Ford’s commitment to give the Power of Choice to fuel-efficiency-minded customers.
Ford’s near-term electrification plan requires it to increase production for its electrified vehicle range three-fold by 2013. The C-MAX hybrids are going to be produced at Ford’s global C-segment platform. The carmaker has three other electrified vehicles it plans to launch in 2012 in North America.