Ford’s US Hybrid Sales Up 73% for First 9 Months of 2009; Total US Hybrid Sales Down 14% for Same Period
Ford Motor Company’s US hybrid sales for the first nine months of 2009 are 73% higher than the same period in 2008, fueled by the introduction of hybrid versions of the 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan, which went on sale in March 2009. In contrast, total reported hybrid sales in the US dropped 14% (from 257,533 to 220,593 units) during the same period. (Earlier post.)
Through September, Ford has sold 26,016 hybrid vehicles, up 73% versus the 15,015 units for the same period last year. Toyota, still the number one provider of hybrids in the US with 144,351 units sold in the first nine months of 2009, saw its hybrid sales drop 28% from the same period in 2008 (200,450 units).
Honda, the second leading seller of hybrids in the US during the first 9 months of 2009 with 29,958 units, saw its hybrid sales rise 8% compared to the same period in 2008 (27,793 units).
Hybrid customers increasingly are considering Ford. More than 60 percent of Fusion Hybrid sales have been from non-Ford owners, and more than half of those are customers coming from import brands, mostly from Toyota and Honda.
—David Finnegan, Ford hybrid marketing manager
Ford’s 2009 hybrid sales have been fueled by the introduction of the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids. Combined sales of these mid-size hybrid sedans for through September were 12,602 units, according to Ford—48.4% of the total. Both vehicles deliver an EPA-certified 41 mpg rating in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, topping the Toyota Camry hybrid by 8 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway.
While the introduction of the Fusion Hybrid has spurred sales from non-Ford owners, Ford said, its longest-running hybrid nameplate, the Escape Hybrid, has proven popular with Ford customers operating taxi, lifeguard and government fleets due to the combination of fuel efficiency and durability. The front-wheel-drive Escape Hybrid delivers 34 mpg in city driving and 30 mpg on the highway.
In 2005, San Francisco became one of the first cities to adopt hybrids into taxi service, with hybrids accounting for 14% of its current fleet. Each of the original fleet of 15 Escape Hybrids exceeded 300,000 miles per vehicle before being retired and replaced with more Escape Hybrids. There are almost 200 Escape Hybrid taxis on San Francisco’s streets today.
New York has more hybrid taxis in service than any other city in North America with 13,237, of which more than 2,000 are Escape Hybrids. New York recently began retiring its original fleet of Escape Hybrids put into service in the 2005 model year after accumulating 300,000 and 350,000 miles per vehicle.
In 2009, federal agencies have purchased more than 3,000 hybrids from Ford, more than any other automotive brand. Included in the sales were 1,900 vehicles acquired through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the purpose of improving the fuel economy of the federal fleet. The US Army was the single largest purchaser among the government fleets, acquiring 400 Fusion hybrids.