Good news from the Ford camp, and plenty of it: The production capacity of the electrified vehicle lineup is going to triple through 2013 – to more than 100,000 annually – including higher volumes of the new C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, vehicles that already have quite a buzz.
“A key factor in our plan is to launch the new five-passenger C-MAX to North American customers exclusively as a hybrid range of family vehicles,” said Jim Farley, Ford Group Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Service. “This decision shows how flexible and responsive Ford can be to changing market conditions and consumer attitudes.”
If you’re wondering about the original plan for a seven-passenger gasoline-powered C-MAX, Ford now believes that increasing the production capacity for the C-MAX electrified models for North America makes more business sense. As customers continue to prioritize fuel economy, Ford has a real opportunity to make the unique silhouette of the 5-passenger C-MAX a dedicated family of hybrid models.
You might be getting the feeling that consumers are demanding electric vehicles in a major way, and you’d be correct. Recent research by Kelley Blue Book revealed that U.S. consumers noted better fuel economy as the main reason for planning to purchase their next vehicle, and that has been on the rise since the beginning of this year. Ford sales trends support that, with sales of approximately 35,000 electrified vehicles each year, led by the Fusion Hybrid, as well as the Escape Hybrid and the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.
“Customers have come to expect fuel efficiency with every new vehicle Ford delivers today, and now we are further differentiating our electrified vehicle lineup with something else people truly value – choice,” said Jim. “As customers continue to prioritize fuel economy, we have a real opportunity to make the unique silhouette of the five-passenger C-MAX a dedicated family of hybrid models.”
However, this demand isn’t limited only to North America. The C-MAX, which is the base for the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi, is leaving European dealer lots at twice the rate of last year’s model. More than 100,000 of these new vehicles have been sold in Europe since the launch in late 2010, and Ford is already finding new ways to produce more European C-MAX models than originally expected at its Valencia, Spain, plant.
In North America, both the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi models will be built alongside the all-new Ford Focus and Focus Electric at the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. Beginning in 2012. Factoid: It’s the first plant in the world to produce gasoline-powered vehicles, full-electric vehicles, hybrid and plug-in hybrids under one roof. There also will be 220 green technology jobs added in Michigan – a total of 170 at Rawsonville and Van Dyke Transmission plants, plus the more than 50 new electrified-vehicle engineers based in Dearborn in the past year, specifically for the design and development of key component for Ford hybrids, plug-in hybrids and full battery electric vehicles.
Read the story, “More Ford C-MAX Hybrid Details Revealed!” for newer information about the Ford C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid.