The All-new Ford C-Max, coming next year from Europe, will be Hybrid or plug in only. Ford , by making their own hybrid system, has brought the prices way down. Look out Chevy and Prius!
Ford Motor Co., in a move to compete with hybrid and electric vehicles produced by Toyota, GM, and Nissan, said today that its upcoming C-Max compact minivan will be a hybrid only powertrain when U.S. sales begin next year. Ford has cancelled plans to offer a gas version of the C-Max.
Ford said it has been able to reduce the cost of hybrid technology, which will make the vehicle more attractive to buyers. Ford announced this year that a plug-in hybrid C-Max also is planned. Today’s move will put the C-Max in competition with the Prius, Chevy Volt plug-in and Nissan’s all-electric Leaf. The C-Max is a seven-passenger minivan based on the Ford Focus.
Engineering Cost down
Ford said it expects the cost of hybrid systems it’s offering next year will be 30 percent less expensive than the system that was introduced on the 2010 Fusion. Ford said it will keep C-Max prices down because much of the hybrid system has been designed and engineered by Ford. The company also will assemble the system.
Hybrid loyalty rates ‘very high’
In an April interview, Ford’s Sherif Marakby said, “When we first launched a hybrid six years ago, many customers were concerned” about the battery. Customers asked: “‘How long would the battery last?’ ‘How much does it cost to replace it?'” he said. But batteries have proven to be long-lasting, Marakby said. It’s now imperative to lower the cost of its hybrid system, he said, so Ford can cut hybrid prices and boost sales.
“We’re seeing that the loyalty rate on hybrids is very high,” he said in April. “We just need people to get used to the technology, bring the cost down and the price down for consumers, and we believe it’s only going to go up in terms of sales volume.” Ford has been cutting costs by bringing many technologies in-house, such as the hybrid transmission.
“By developing the hybrid system’s design in-house and sourcing individual components to suppliers, Ford can use less people and less time to get the job done in an efficient manner,” he said. Ford has also developed a battery system that will be manufactured at a suburban Detroit Ford plant next year.
Marakby’s goal is to cut the cost of the next-generation Ford hybrid system another 30 percent.