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Targeting Toyota, Ford Gains Hybrid Market Share in First Half of 2013

Last updated Friday, August 2, 2013 08:00 ET

Automaker's Electrified-Vehicle Share Has Quadrupled Year-over-Year

Watertown, 08/02/2013 / SubmitMyPR /

Once known much more for its capable trucks and SUVs than for its fuel efficiency, Ford has become the darling of the hybrid market in 2013, thanks in large part to its new Ford C-MAX and Ford Fusion hybrids. The automaker's share of the electrified-vehicle market rose to nearly 16 percent in the first half of this year, quadrupling from the same period in 2012. During that time, hybrid sales leader Toyota saw its share decrease by 8 percentage points in the same market, while sales of its electrified models dropped by 4 percent year-over-year.

Having sold more than 46,000 electrified vehicles through June of this year, Ford says that more than 60 percent of its new hybrid customers are coming over from other brands, with the top trade-ins being Toyota and Honda models. Ford's popularity in the electrified-vehicle market also appears to be growing while the year goes on, as the second quarter was the automaker's best-ever quarter of hybrid sales. From April through June, Ford moved more than 24,000 hybrid models, a 15 percent increase over the first quarter and a massive 517 percent jump compared the second quarter last year.

"Ford picked a perfect time to go all-in on the hybrid market because gas-electric vehicles are finally becoming mainstream, and the automaker's models give buyers a variety of options that are usually more affordable than the competition," said Peter King, general manager of Watertown Ford, a Boston Ford dealership. "Longtime hybrid buyers who want the utmost in practicality may opt for a C-MAX, but first-timers often go with the Fusion Hybrid, which many times will have a bolder exterior and a more responsive ride than the gas-only model they are trading in."

Though Ford has developed legitimate competition for the best-selling Toyota Prius with its C-MAX, the hybrid models of its redesigned 2013 Fusion offer the clearest examples of how far the automaker has come in challenging its Japanese counterparts. The Ford Fusion Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient midsize hybrid in the country, with its EPA rating of 47 mpg combined beating the rating of the Toyota Camry Hybrid by six miles per gallon. Meanwhile, the Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid boasts a total range of 620 miles, as well as a 21-mile all-electric range that is nearly three times that of the plug-in competition from Toyota and Honda.

While vehicle specs don't always translate well to the road, Car and Driver recently compared the Ford Fusion Energi to the Honda Accord Plug-In hybrid, and it was the Blue Oval brand's offering that came out on top. Beyond the fact that editors simply found the Fusion Energi's exterior more attractive, the magazine also praised the model's well-tuned suspension and precise steering, as well as its longer range and top speed of 85 mph when in all-electric mode.

"Until you pull up to the charging station, it would be hard for your passengers to tell that your Fusion Energi is a plug-in hybrid," King noted. "The Fusion Energi has all the comfort and driving dynamics of traditional midsize sedans, but it also has the potential to go from Boston to Philadelphia and back without stopping for a fill-up or a charge."

About Watertown Ford:
Watertown Ford is where Greater Boston Ford lovers head for the best deals on new and used Fords. No other Massachusetts Ford dealer has the same dedication to the customer, and that dedication has earned Watertown Ford the loyalty of Ford owners all over the state. Their new and used Ford inventory can be viewed online at www.watertownford.com, and interested customers can visit their showroom at 625 Pleasant St. in Watertown, Massachusetts. They can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MyWatertownFord and reached by phone at 800-584-6486.