Monday, November 9, 2009

Ford's Greener Vehicles

Unlike GM and Chrysler, Ford is well known for having avoided a government bailout. They have been producing vehicles that have earned them good reviews and positive consumer feedback.

The hybrid version of the Fusion, introduced in 2006, uses a full-hybrid design which allows it to run on electric power alone at low speeds. It has other fuel-saving strategies such as regenerative braking and engine start-stop capabilities. The Fusion Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine, with an electric motor that delivers up to 191 horsepower.

According to Ford, hybrid sales are on the rise. In September of this year sales were up 73% from the previous year. Automotive News reports that this will put Ford within a few thousand cars of passing Honda as the second largest seller of hybrids in America.

“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,” says David Finnegan, Ford hybrid marketing manager.

Toyota leads hybrid car manufacturers in the US with 66% of all sales. However Ford is making progress against the industry leaders. As Ford was seeing a 73% increase in hybrid sales, Toyota's hybrid sales have dropped by 28%. Overall Ford has seen a 132% increase in Fusion sales.

Ford hybrids offer superior mileage numbers when compared to their Japanese counterparts. The Fusion Hybrid is certified by the EPA at 41 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, that is a full 8 mpg better than the Camry hybrid in the city and 2 mpg on the highway. The Hybrid Ford Fusion has also received excellent ratings in Consumer Reports’ (CR), a trusted consumer products and services reviewer.

"The new Fusions are very impressive, especially the Hybrid,” said David Champion, senior director of CR's Auto Test Center. "The Hybrid successfully blends excellent fuel economy with driving pleasure, something all other hybrids have failed to do. All [Fusions] have a comfortable ride [and] agile handling, and the innovative display on the hybrid encourages frugal driving."

The Fusion is not the only Ford product that is increasing in popularity, the Escape has seen increases in sales as well. The Ford Escape plug-in hybrid is scheduled for launch in 2012. Ford's hybrids are poised to claim a major share of the automotive green market.
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NEXT: GM's Greener Vehicles /Government Investment in Greener Vehicles

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