This Automaker Is Electrifying The Hybrid Market
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The second largest US automaker Ford (NYSE: F) is making a strong attempt to gain a foothold in the US hybrid market. The carmaker is starting to challenge the undisputed king of hybrid vehicles, Toyota (NYSE: TM). The Dearborn-based automaker expects to wind up the year with a record 11% share of the US electric vehicles market. The company’s November hybrid sales are anticipated to be the best ever with over 6,000 vehicles sold.
The carmaker has been persistently increasing the number of alternatives in the hybrid and plug-in space, including the all-new Fusion hybrid and the recently launched C-Max hybrid. November is the first full month for dealers to offer the newly launched C-MAX Hybrid, C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, and the Fusion Hybrid. Ford has been working hard to increase fuel economy for its customers, so that it can take on the unprecedented hybrid player Toyota. Will Ford’s business strategy of providing fuel efficient cars be able to give Toyota a run for its money with its fresh hybrid line-up?
Face-off with the existing players
As per Edmunds.com, Toyota occupied a 70.4% share of the hybrid market in the first 10 months of the year, while Ford’s bigger rival General Motors (NYSE: GM) held 12.5% of the market. However, in October, Toyota’s market share tumbled to 60.9% while Ford’s share increased to 11.8%.
Ford has been introducing more models of hybrid plug-ins, so that customers have a variety to choose from. In addition, the US automaker is making sure that their offerings are fuel efficient considering that buyers give huge importance on the fuel economy of a car while making a purchase decision. The new line-up offered by the company is challenging Toyota’s fuel economy, particularly at a time when majority of the shoppers are considering fuel efficiency as their top priority.
The all-new C-Max hybrid and plug-in hybrid are directly competing with Toyota’s best-selling Prius that accounts for over half the market’s hybrid sales. The fuel economy, price, and comfort offered by the C-Max threaten the Prius maker's market. It beats GM’s Chevy Volt's fuel efficiency as well. Volt sales did not meet expectations as it faced competition from rivals, including the all-electric Nissan Leaf, Ford C-Max, and other new models from Honda and Toyota. The C-Max Energi is more efficient, powerful, and spacious with good headroom and comfortable seating.
The C-Max hybrid and plug-in hybrid are doing extremely well in the market. Approximately 4,400 of Ford’s electric vehicles sales for November have come from the C-Max. The Fusion hybrid has won the Green Car of the Year award and is one of the high-interest models at Ford showrooms. The hybrid and electric auto market may be small at the moment but it is growing at a fast rate.
The automaker’s November sales in US rose 6% with 177,673 vehicles sold in comparison to the last year. Consumers have been particularly responsive to the fuel efficient hybrid cars offered by the automaker. The hybrid line-up witnessed a 52% rise in sales in November compared to the previous month. This clearly shows that consumers are taking notice of the Dearborn automaker’s hybrid offerings. The Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius may be the most popular hybrid and electric models, but the launch of Ford’s C-MAX and other electric vehicles may change that.
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