Posts Tagged ‘hybrid


2013 Ford C-Max Energi Plug-In Adds To C-Max Hybrid Sales

source: Green Car Reports

The 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid has now reached dealerships throughout the country, selling 3,182 units in October.

But Ford had an “October surprise” in store: The company sold 144 of the plug-in hybrid C-Max Energi version as well.

That car hasn’t been driven by any members of the automotive media, and Ford communications staff have been vague about when it would go on sale, saying only things like “at the end of the year.”

Well, October kicks off the fourth quarter of 2012, so perhaps that’s what they meant.

Ford’s October sales of 144 C-Max Energi hatchbacks, plus another 118 Ford Focus Electric battery-electric cars, contributed to the highest monthly sales for plug-in electric cars since modern plug-ins went on sale in December 2010.

The company issued a press release proudly touting the October sales of its hybrid C-Max, and comparing them to the Toyota Prius V wagon, which sold 2,769.

As Ford’s first dedicated hybrid–a model that has no standard gasoline version–the C-Max has to compete against the best-selling Toyota Prius, now a range of four cars including a plug-in hybrid version.

One of its jobs is to lure new customers into Ford showrooms in hybrid-heavy markets like the West Coast. (Those markets notably do not include Michigan, Ford’s home state.)

And according to Ford, it’s working.

“One in four C-MAX Hybrids sold in October were sold in California,” the release said, “with Los Angeles as the best-selling region and San Francisco following in second.”

“Initial conquest data show that more than 70 percent of C-MAX Hybrid buyers traded in a competitive model or added it without trading in another vehicle,” Ford continued.

“And one third of C-MAX Hybrid customers in October said they cross-shopped the Toyota Prius and Prius V.”

The Toyota Prius line as a whole sold 16,774 units in October, and Toyota also sold hybrid models of several of its conventional cars as well, for a total of 20,273 hybrids last month.

Ford’s total of 4,612 hybrids sold in October, while its best month ever, still puts it in second place in U.S. hybrid sales overall–but decisively ahead of Honda, which sold 948 hybrids throughout the month.

The one remaining question about the C-Max Hybrid is its real-world gas mileage. Green Car Reports has now done two short tests of Ford’s latest hybrid (here and here) and has not come close to its rated efficiency of 47 mpg combined.

Real-world mileage is likely to be much in the public eye with Hyundai and Kia having to restate their window-sticker figures and offer refunds to customers who bought cars with higher MPG ratings than were justified–due to errors in the EPA testing it submitted for certification, Hyundai says.

While the 144 C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid sales in October came as a surprise, Ford notes that the car is now on sale at Ford dealerships that have been certified to sell plug-in cars in half the states in the country.

Its role is to compete head-to-head with the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, which has a lower electric range–6 to 11 miles–but carries the trusted Prius name.


Ford Evos: Cloud Connected Car

Ford has announced the Ford Evos, a Hybrid sedan concept car that is constantly connected to the cloud. While it is only a concept at the moment, it is -mostly- based on ideas and technologies that can be achievable in the near-future. For instance, having a constant connection between the car and the Internet is merely a cost issue, not a technological one.

In Ford’s vision, the Evos knows everything about your personal preferences from the data that you have accumulated overtime (in the cloud). And by preferences, Ford means “everything” that can be gathered by modern technology: music style, sleep time, driving habits, temperature levels, movies, radio shows, friends… there are no real limits.At home

For example, the car can check your calendar and see that a meeting has been delayed, so it decides to tell your alarm clock that there’s no need to wake you up for now. The car can also guess that you will soon be on the road, and starts adapting the internal temperature. Upon leaving the proximity of the house, it tells the house’s heating system to enter power savings mode.

On the road

Obviously, the car knows where you are going and can check traffic to recommend alternate routes, if needed. Ford also suggests that it could ask the driver to go on a fun drive if there is time. To do so, the car check for what’s ahead, and if no danger is detected (traffic, accidents, weather conditions…), the driver can switch into a more sporty (versus economic) driving mode.

The car will monitor the driver’s vital stats via sensors in the seat, and can turn off the phone and remove other distracting element of the dashboard to help the driver focus on what’s important. In its concept, Ford also shows that the Evos can play a particular style of music that the driver enjoys on this road.

Driver’s health

As the car gets closer to the city, it detects for pollutants and activates a filtering system, while prompting the driver.  Finally, it searches and reserves a parking spot over the internet, and guides the driver inside the parking. The car will charge wirelessly during the day, and will be ready for the return trip.


This is a really cool concept, and as I said in the introduction, most of the technologies are already available. However, there are a number of things that Ford will need to work out. For instance anything that is linked to the public (or private) infrastructure has to be done by a third party. Wireless charging mechanisms need to become standard for all cars and all the information gathering/reading also has to be somewhat standardized.

In the end, we hope that the Ford Evos idea will inspire a new level of cooperation and standardization, because without real team work and real standards, no project that requires public infrastructure can work. In the meantime, what do you think of this vision, and what would you like Ford to build?


2013 Ford Escape Spy Photos – Future Cars

Source: Car and Driver

Update: Our spy photographers have caught the interior of the upcoming Escape. We’ve added a picture below, and to read more about the interior, click over here.

After a full decade on the market, the Ford Escape is at last getting a ground-up redesign, and spies have caught this development mule out on an R&D mission. Although its innards are hidden beneath the curvy body of the current European Ford Kuga—which itself could have made a fitting second-gen Escape years ago—this vehicle gives away its actual identity with covered air intakes up front and ill-fitting tailpipes out back. However little we can actually see here, it is certain that the second-generation Escape will be a vastly different creature, both aesthetically and dynamically, from the Clinton-era ute we know now.

Ford previewed the new look at the Detroit auto show with the Vertrek concept, a clear evolution of both the Kuga’s shape, and Ford’s “Kinetic design” styling language. The most fundamental change will be a switch to Ford’s global C platform, which also serves as the foundation for the 2012 Focus, the upcoming C-Max, and the current Kuga, thereby allowing the Kuga and Escape to be merged into one global product.

Escape From Six-Cylinders?

We expect that Ford will offer a choice of powertrains in the next Escape, but we don’t expect any available engine to have more than four cylinders or be paired with a transmission containing fewer than six ratios. Ford’s ubiquitous 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which produces 168 hp and 167 lb-ft of torque in the C-Max, is likely to be the base powerplant. The same EcoBoost 1.6-liter inline-four that powered the Vertrek could lend its 180 hp and 173 lb-ft to the production vehicle, and the mighty 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-banger is a possibility for the top-shelf Escape. With about 237 hp and 250 lb-ft, it could make for an interesting Escape Sport. And, of course, the return of the Escape hybrid is a no-brainer. Expect to see upgrades to the system used in today’s hybrid, if not a completely new system or a plug-in version like that found in theC-Max Energi also shown in Detroit.


The next Ford GT could be a hybrid car

Rumor has it that the sleek and sporty Ford GT is set to make a triumphant return — as a hybrid car. Prius be damned.

Popular car blog, Auto Express is claiming to have scored exclusive pictures of what is believed to be the next Ford GT. Auto Express believes that the new Ford GT will have an electric motor that will complement its revved up V8 engine with up to 600 horsepower. The front wheels of the hybrid car is rumored to be powered exclusively by the electric motor.

In addition to an electric motor, the body of the car is said to be an all-aluminum chassis with a weight of 1.5 tons — about 440 pounds lighter than the last Ford GT. The new Ford GT will reportedly go from 0-62 miles per hour in three seconds and hit a top speed of up to 200 mph.

A hybrid Ford GT would still cost a bundle, but that’s ok. As long as those rich Beverly Hills folk aren’t speeding around in gas-guzzling cars, I’d be slightly less annoyed by their orange tans and a little happier for the environment.



Ford says auto future hinges on electric car


Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford closed out the SAE World Congress on Thursday with an endorsement of the future of electric vehicles.

“All the early cars were electric,” said Ford, great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford, at the engineers’ conference. “They’ve been around really for the past century or so, but they really haven’t had mass-market appeal.”

• Ford beats VW, takes No. 1 spot in Europe

But Ford said the automotive industry is rapidly changing.

Ford, an ardent environmentalist who worked for years to change the carmaker’s culture so that it would embrace environmental goals, said new technology makes it possible to introduce electric vehicles that appeal to mainstream consumers.

“It appears that the biggest game-changer will be electric vehicles,” Ford said during a speech in Detroit. “Our plan includes the introduction of five new high-mileage vehicles.”

Ford said the automotive industry must introduce more fuel-efficient vehicles in order to meet the challenges of diminishing oil reserves, global warming and a desire by customers to spend less money on gas.

“The majority of our efforts are aimed at fuel-economy leadership,” Ford said. “We want to provide affordable fuel economy for millions of customers.”

Over the next three years, Ford plans to introduce a Transit Connect Electric commercial van, a Ford Focus electric vehicle, two new gasoline-electric hybrids and a plug-in hybrid.

Ford also said the company is committed to improving the fuel economy of all of its new vehicles.

This summer, Ford plans to launch the Ford Fiesta subcompact car. Ford has said it expects the Fiesta will get 40 m.p.g. on the highway and 30 m.p.g. in city driving.

Ford also is introducing technology in the car to help drivers get the most out of their vehicles.

On Thursday, Ford announced that the company is adding a new feature for the company’s navigation software called Eco-Route.

Eco-Route will map the most fuel-efficient route to a destination and can help drivers achieve fuel-economy gains of up to 15%, the company said.

The feature is part of Ford’s MyFord Touch, a new system that controls all entertainment, climate and information systems in the company’s vehicle.

In addition to introducing new technology, Ford is gaining market share both in the U.S. and Europe. Ford’s stock closed Thursday at $13.76 per share, up 41 cents from its close on Wednesday and more than four times higher than its 52-week low of $3.27 per share.

The company, which typically reports first-quarter earnings at the end of April, is expected to report a profit of 30 cents per share, according to a survey of 12 analysts by Thomson One Analytics.

“Nobody is getting cocky, or overconfident,” Ford said. “Because, frankly, we’ve only taken baby steps on the long journey to where we really need to go.”


Ford Said to Plan Hybrid Lincoln to Bolster Last Luxury Line

source: Bloomberg

By Keith Naughton

March 30 (Bloomberg) — Ford Motor Co. plans to expand the Lincoln luxury line by adding a hybrid model based on its top- selling Fusion sedan, two people familiar with the matter said.

The hybrid Lincoln MKZ will be unveiled tomorrow at the New York auto show, said the people, who asked not to be identified because Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford hasn’t announced the details.

Ford’s vision for Lincoln reflects Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally’s decision to focus on the namesake brand and go without a global luxury marque after agreeing to sell Volvo Cars to Zhejiang Geely Holding Co. this week. The Swedish unit was the last of four such overseas brands unloaded since 2007.

“Our track record operating with global premium brands has not been stellar,” Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth said last week in an interview. “We are going to continue to focus on Ford and the opportunities to drive revenues on Ford.”

Ford will sell Lincoln only in North America, Booth said. Since arriving in late 2006 from Boeing Co., Mulally has disposed of Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin and Volvo, and stressed rebuilding the reputation, quality and offerings of the Ford brand and the company’s original luxury line, Lincoln.

Ford paid $11.8 billion for Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo, and the sales prices for those brands totaled $4.2 billion. The company said in 2007 it received $848 million for Aston Martin without disclosing what it paid.

‘House of Brands’

Mulally’s dismantling of what he called Ford’s “house of brands” is a departure from the strategy followed by other automakers, which develop global luxury lineups as a source of profits and prestige.

Continue reading ‘Ford Said to Plan Hybrid Lincoln to Bolster Last Luxury Line’


Ford Fusion Hybrid, Transit Connect win Car and Truck of the Year awards

Shawn Wright
Automotive News | January 11, 2010 – 8:00 am EST

DETROIT — The Ford Fusion Hybrid was named the North American Car of the Year today, while Ford’s Transit Connect picked up Truck of the Year accolades in a poll of journalists. It is only the third time in 17 years that a single manufacturer has won both titles. “We’ve been focusing very relentlessly on our strategy around making sure our vehicles are world-class in the areas of fuel economy, safety, quality and smart technology,” Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas, said after the morning ceremony. “We’re just so glad we’re being recognized for that, both by the journalists but also, more importantly, by the customers.”

In 2009, Ford posted its first full-year gain in U.S. market share in 15 years.The automaker sold 15,559 Fusion Hybrids last year. The Fusion Hybrid topped the two other car finalists, the Buick LaCrosse and Volkswagen Golf. It’s just the second time a Ford car has taken the award. The Focus won in 2000. The Transit Connect, a small cargo truck, came out on top over the Chevrolet Equinox and Subaru Outback crossovers.

“The Transit Connect is what we call a white-space vehicle — there’s nothing like it on the road,” Fields said. “When you see this on the road, your first reaction is, ‘What is that?’ ”
As of mid-December, more than 600,000 Transit Connects have been sold over seven years in 55 countries. Ford has sold 8,834 Transit Connects since it entered the U.S. market in July.
U.S.-based automakers have taken home the car trophy nine times. European companies have won four times, Japanese three and South Korea’s Hyundai once.
In the truck category, domestics have claimed the crown 11 times, followed by four for Japanese makes and two for Europeans.

Ford has dominated the domestics, winning the award five times. The F-150 pickup won in 2009, 2004 and 1996. The Ford Escape Hybrid crossover took home Truck of the Year in 2005, as did the Ford Expedition SUV in 1997. Last year, the Hyundai Genesis won Car of the Year and the F-150 Truck of the Year.

It was the second time a Ford hybrid vehicle took the award. More than 50 vehicles were considered this year. Automotive News is represented on the 49-member voting panel by Executive Editor Edward Lapham. “This is such a motivator for our team to be recognized by the Car and Truck of the Year jury,” Fields said. “These are the most demanding journalists, and we were in a set of very, very tough competitions. … I think it just shows that we’re headed in the right direction.”

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