STERLING HEIGHTS, United States – Ford recently announced that it would triple the production capacity of its electrified vehicle lineup through 2013, further boosting volumes of its all-new C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. The company additionally stated that with this expansion of its electrified C-MAX lineup, the gasoline-powered seven-passenger vehicle would not be produced in North America. Here is some additional information.
Q: Why did we decide to drop the C-MAX seven-passenger vehicle for North America?
A: We looked at all factors and concluded that the best opportunity for the C-MAX nameplate was to increase the volume of the North American-built hybrid models.
Q: Aren’t we concerned about not having a minivan or other vehicle with a sliding door in North America?
A: We have been out of the minivan market in North America since 2003. We will continue to focus on investing in today’s strong, fuel-efficient utility vehicle lineup, including the Ford Escape, Explorer, Flex and Expedition even as we work on other vehicle solutions for people who want a sliding door.
Q: What is the benefit of offering C-MAX in North America only as a hybrid?
A: Launching C-MAX as a hybrid-only simplifies the range and provides Ford a better opportunity to establish this new nameplate in North America as new choice that allows customers to opt for a dedicated hybrid model – a Ford first. By doing this, we’re prioritizing fuel economy, which is a top priority for consumers.
Q: The company’s strategy is to electrify mainstream vehicles and not to pursue a unique hybrid vehicle (a la Toyota Prius). What changed?
A: Nothing has changed. C-MAX is a mainstream vehicle in our global portfolio.
To offer customers maximum choice, Ford electrifies platforms – and the 5-passenger C-MAX is a key model in our global C-car portfolio. While we offer it in Europe with gasoline and diesel engines, we feel there are North American customers who want a unique silhouette with their hybrid purchase. With the C-MAX, we are offering them that choice.
Q: What are the electrified vehicles will Ford sell by the end of 2012 in North America?
A: We've confirmed five electrified vehicles. They are the Transit Connect Electric (currently on sale), the Focus Electric (production begins late 2011), C-MAX Hybrid (coming in 2012), C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid (coming in 2012) and a next-generation hybrid yet to be revealed.
Q: How much demand does Ford see for electric vehicles?
A: Overall, we’re expecting growth in electrified vehicles led by hybrids. Ford expects to triple annual production by 2013 to 100,000 from today’s number of 35,000. Longer term, we’re expecting between 10 to 25 percent of our sales by 2020 to be electrified vehicles, with about 70 percent being hybrids. The remaining 20 to 25 percent are expected to be plug-ins and the remainder pure battery electric vehicles.