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Ford To Begin Pre-Selling the Mariner Hybrid on 11 July

15 June 2005

Ford will start taking orders for the Mercury Mariner hybrid in July to gauge demand before production begins. Ford, which has been selling the hybrid Escape since October 2004, will begin pre-selling the Mariner hybrid on July 11, when prices will be set, according to the company. (Detroit Free Press)

Based on the hybrid powertrain from its cousin the Escape Hybrid, the Mariner Hybrid (details) delivers an estimated 33 mpg (city), 29 mpg (highway) and is targeted to meet California’s Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle standard.

Ford had planned to sell 20,000 Escape hybrids during its first 12 months on the market; after 8 months, Ford has sold 9,501 units.

The company has yet to announce a sales target for the Mariner hybrid, which will begin volume production in October. Ford will use the pre-orders to calibrate the production level.

Ford also plans hybrid versions of its new Fusion and Milan sedans in 2008.

June 15, 2005 in Hybrids | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

Any idea why Ford is under plan on the Escape? I presume it is production problems or parts availability and not lack of demand

The 'under plan' number might indicate SUV buyers aren't very sensitive to fuel economy at purchase time. This could be a flaw in the idea of intro'ing hybrids first in SUVs and trucks by GM/Ford. In other words, while it might make sense technically to produce hybrid light trucks, the social dimension of customer acceptance in that market segment may hold back sales.

That well could be. The Financial Times ran a piece this morning in which Toyota noted that the low price of gasoline in the US is a barrier to hybrid purchasing.

The low price of petrol means there is no financial justification for buying fuel-efficient hybrid petrol-electric cars in the US, according to Toyota, maker of the hybrid market leader, the Prius.

Kazuo Okamoto, who takes over as head of research and development at Toyota next month, said the extra costs of hybrid cars more than wiped out any financial gains of lower fuel consumption. Buyers in the US would have to want to help the environment, not just save money. In Japan and Europe, the extra costs were approximately balanced by fuel savings.

To echo Ron, it may be that more of the people willing to shoulder that cost burden in the short term are also car buyers, not SUV buyers.

>Mariner hybrid
Why cant Ford offer and plugin hybrid option?
Or is the U. S. going to be last in everything.
People are actually ripping out the battery from the
Prius to stick in a larger battery so they can
plugin the car and get zero emmisions as well as
lower cost per mile.
With Lithium Ion needing a boost in production to reduce
the cost for EV's I cant understand why they dont offer
this as an option.
bob

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