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Ford Hybrids, Energi and BEVs Dominate Toyota!


It's no secret that Ford is targeting Toyota with each new hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle offered, and the Camry Hybrid is the #2 target behind the Prius lift back.

But with Ford able to crank up production at Flat Rock to produce the S and SE models of the ICE Fusion, which allows more capacity for Hermosillo to produce more Fusion Hybrid and Energi models, having more inventory at dealers is beginning to pay off.

For the month of December, Toyota maintained an inventory of about 51k Camry models in stock, with 6k Camry Hybrid models. Ford on the other hand has maintained a 54k Fusion model inventory, with 5k Fusion Hybrid models in stock.

This increased Fusion inventory has done what Ford expected, and helped Fusion Hybrid (2,768) outsell the Camry Hybrid(2,726) for December. For 2013 Camry Hybrid(44,448) down -2.62% YTD, outsold Fusion Hybrid(37,270) up 164.33% YTD by just 7,178 units. With Fusion Hybrid closing the gap during the last two quarters of the year as inventory levels increased.

And this is with Fusion maintaining a $2,500+ higher sales price throughout the year over the Camry.

C-MAX leads
The Ford C-MAX Hybrid took a hit when Ford had to downgrade the mpg from 47/47/47 to 45/43/44 for 2013. Sales slid from over 1k units from Sept - Dec. Even though C-MAX Energi sales increased almost double for the last 4 months(Sept - Dec) over the previous 4 months(May - Aug) of the year. Which means with the lowered mpg of the hybrid, more consumers bought the C-MAX Energi instead. But Ford has a plan to fix the mpg issue with the 2014 C-MAX Hybrid. The 2014 C-MAX Energi is already out as it had no mpg drop.

But it seems Ford may be waiting for NAIAS to reveal the updated 2014 C-MAX Hybrid and it's new mpg, as there is no update on their site, no inventory of the 2014 model and nothing on the fueleconemy.gov website.....so stay tuned.

So back to the sales numbers. Yes, the C-MAX(35,210) dominated it's primary competition, the Prius v(34,989) YTD.

Ford Plug-In models lead
Ford plug-in hybrid Energi models also dominated Toyota YTD. Toyota has no direct competition for the Fusion Energi (6,089), as Toyota stated they don't see plug-in hybrid or EVs a viable option and decided to put their efforts toward launching a fuel cell vehicle.

But it just sounds like Toyota is being cheap, since they have not updated their hybrid technology for over 10 years, and the Prius plug-in has a tiny 4.4kWh battery that only offers 7 actual EV miles. Compared with the 7.6kWh battery in the Energi models and 21 EV miles. Which is why Ford is also dominating Toyota with plug-in hybrid vehicles where the Fusion Energi(only on sale for 11 months for 2013) and C-MAX Energi (7,154) in their first full year had combined sales of 13,243.

Outselling the only plug-in hybrid Toyota plans to offer so far, the Prius plug-in (13,088 and down -5.19% YTD)) by 155 units. This is the first full year Ford offered plug-in vehicles, and has already outsold Toyota in this segment.

Ford BEVs lead
Ford BEV vehicles also dominated Toyota 2013 YTD, just as Ford BEVs did in 2012. Focus Electric (1,738) which is only sold as a special order only vehicle. Meaning there is virtually no store inventory, only demonstrator models, and the consumer has to order and wait days or weeks for delivery. Then there is the fact that Ford offers no national marketing for the Focus Electric, only a web presence primarily.

But with a nice lease deal at about $230/mo with $2k down, the Focus Electric outsold the Toyota RAV4-EV(1,096) by 642 units for 2013. And the Focus Electric outsold the RAV4-EV for December 158 to 28.

The additional challenge for the Focus Electric was the Stop Safely Now defect that was recently resolved in Oct with a software update. This news may account for many early EV adopters to finally take delivery of their new Focus Electric this past quarter. It's clear that the Focus Electric is the best built, best driving, longest range, best looking BEV available under $40k. And once the defect was resolved, sales have increased each month, which should continue.

2015 Mid-cycle refresh
The assumption also is that Ford is waiting to launch the 2015 mid-cycle refreshed Focus Electric before an actual marketing push nationwide. Currently the Nissan Leaf dominates the EV segment with 22,610 sales for 2013. The best selling is the SL model which is at the same $27k as the Focus Electric after the $7,500 tax incentive. But the Leaf has no battery protection, and when the battery starts to lose capacity, the consumer's only option is to lease a battery from Nissan for $100/mo as long as they own the vehicle. Unlike the Focus Electric pack that has thermal protection, and can go for over 200k miles before any capacity loss, and then there is 20% of the pack that can be allocated to bring capacity back to 100%.

EV early adopters are aware of this, and understand the lease is the only way to go with the Leaf. Which is why the Focus Electric also has a much higher resale value after 5 years of ownership than a Leaf.

Again....another win for Ford!
 
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