For First Time Ever, Ford Is Top Monthly Seller Of Plug-Ins; Fusion Energi Sets A Record!

4 years ago by Jay Cole 38

No One Sold More Plug-Ins Than Ford In October - Who Knew?

No One Sold More Plug-Ins Than Ford In October – Who Knew?

With the reporting of an all-time record number of Fusion Energi sales and a year-best for the C-Max Energi, Ford very unexpectedly lead all the major automakers for plug-in sales in October.

Considering that Ford’s previous best monthly result was only 1,618 sales (set last month), it was a bit of surprise to see 2,294 moved in October, that is an increase over their previous best by 42%.

Here is how it broke down for Ford:

C-Max Energi Lead Ford Offerings For Sales In October 2013

C-Max Energi Lead Ford Offerings For Sales In October 2013

C-Max Energi – Despite a starting MSRP that is still way too high at $32,950 (most likely due to a snafu in the 2014 model not going into production until December) Ford put upwards of $7,000 on the hood to move product.

And that worked out well, as 1,092 were sold – a year high for the plug-in C-max (over September with 758 sold).  The all-time record was set in the C-Max Energi’s first full month on the market in November of 2012 when 1,259 were sold.

Look for new pricing when 2014 production starts in December – something starting with a “2” sounds about right to us!

 

Probably The "Nicest" Driving Environment Of All Plug-Ins On The Road Today

Probably The “Nicest” Driving Environment Of All Plug-Ins On The Road Today

Fusion Energi – We really like the Fusion Energi at InsideEVs.  In fact when it comes to extended range vehicles and pure ride comfort and interior accoutrements, this is our 1st choice.

It appears more and more Americans are discovering that for themselves as sales continue to grow every month.

In October, an amazing 1,087 were sold – the first time the Ford has ever hit 4-digits with the Fusion Energi – and the highest result of all-time for the car.  (Previous high was 750 also set in September)

 

 

This Spot Normally Reserved For Positive Thoughts - We'll Let You Know When We Have Some

This Spot Normally Reserved For Positive Thoughts – We’ll Let You Know When We Have Some

Focus Electric – Unlike the other two plug-in models from Ford, there is no happy story here – but that’s ok, not everything has to be a winner.

Although the car had been discounted by $4,000 for 2014 (down to $35,200), sales continue to lag as only 115 were sold last month – only 34 better than their worst result of the year.

Part of the sales depression might have been the fact the car had widely been reported to just stop sending power to the wheels while in motion; which seems like a problem.  Thankfully, Ford has just recently found a fix and recalled the cars.  That action along with a new lease deal in the mid $250/month range likely will bring back sales starting next month – but still low relatively speaking.

Update –  Ford issued a statement of their own on the achievement a little after our own story and added the following interesting bits of information:

California continues to account for 38 percent of all Ford plug-in hybrid vehicle sales, but plug-ins are strengthening in the midwestern and eastern regions. New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia combine to make up 32 percent of the C-MAX Energi market. Those same cities make up 34 percent of the market for Fusion Energi. New York alone comes close to unseating San Francisco as the second most popular market for Fusion Energi.

Fusion Energi sales in October doubled in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. from the previous month.

Top selling manufacturers in the US for October 2013:

  1. Ford 2,294 (C-Max Energi – 1,093, Fusion Energi – 1,087, Focus Electric – 115)
  2. Toyota 2,186 (Prius PHV – 2,095, RAV4 EV – 91)
  3. Chevrolet 2,088 (Volt – 2,022, Spark EV- 66)
  4. Nissan  2,002 (LEAF)
  5. Tesla 800* (Model S – estimated)

All the sales last month – by all the automakers, broken down by model can be found on our “October Plug-In Scorecard

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38 responses to "For First Time Ever, Ford Is Top Monthly Seller Of Plug-Ins; Fusion Energi Sets A Record!"

  1. Brian says:

    All this, and I still cannot test drive a Ford plug-in without first driving at least 45 minutes away… If Ford’s plug-ins were as widely available as the Volt and Leaf, just imagine how well they might sell…

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      My local Ford dealer (approx. distance 1,200 feet away) has all the Ford plug-ins and a public charging station outside the building.

      1. Brian says:

        That’s great for you and those in your city. Meanwhile, there is not a single ford plug-in on a dealer lot in my county. A county with a population of 750,000 people.

        1. Nate says:

          That’s how it seemed a few months ago where I am at. I wanted to compare the C-max Engergi vs. Leaf vs. Volt. Inquires were ignored by dealers. Cars Direct told me the car would have to be ordered, and then had no answer when I said, “ok how much can I order one for”? The one quote I got was for a lease that was over $100 more the Volt lease quote. Mid September it all changed, and suddenly the same dealers were advertising them with huge discounts and lease deals.

        2. Eric Loveday says:

          Yikes. Well I’m in metro Detroit so there are tons of Ford dealers here and a few that sell a decent volume of EVs

          1. JamieGeek says:

            Got my Focus Electric from the Ford dealer across the street from the Focus plant–still took me 5 months to get it as they had to order it.
            Right now they are only showing 3 Fusion Energi’s in their lot–no C-Max Energi’s and no Focus Electrics.

    2. Puzzlegal says:

      I bought one early this year. I would have bought it with that “initial demand”, except it wasn’t available locally. But by March it was available at one of the most convenient auto dealers, and at to others that I could have driven to if I’d been so inclined (more than 45 minutes away, but less than 1.5 hours.)

      I wouldn’t have considered the Leaf — it’s range makes it not a viable option for me. I should have considered the Volt, but because of the silly EREV/PHEV distinction, we thought it was a pure electric, like the Leaf, and didn’t even do the research.

      1. scottf200 says:

        I would say that you did not research very hard at all then. Too bad because the range is significantly more.

        1. Puzzlegal says:

          We should have shopped the Volt, for sure, but I think we would have picked the C-max anyway. It turns out the EV range of the C-max is enough for my husband’s daily commute, and enough for our routine shopping and evening excursions, so I am quite happy with it. The C-max also gets better milage once it switches to using gas than the Volt, and a significant fraction of our driving is loner trips than the Volt can do in pure EV, so my guess is this is the more fuel efficient car for our driving habits.

          Also, I have a friend with a Volt, and it’s console and gps and climate control and such have an even more annoying interface than the C-max has.

          Our other car is a minivan, so I doubt we would have missed the 5th seat.

      2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        Fusion Energi seems about 5-7k overpriced, given what you get.

        Not a fan of the impinged trunk space either, but it sure does look nice.

  2. David Murray says:

    I test drove a C-Max energi this weekend. It was a nice car and I think it would be a huge upgrade for anyone driving a traditional gasoline car. But since I own a Volt and Leaf I really felt it was a step down but not just because of the range. I put the car in EV-Now mode and was amazed how little acceleration it has. My guess is that it only puts out around 30KW from the battery pack. It was enough to keep up with city traffic, but there was virtually not acceleration power available unless the gasoline engine was allowed to run. So the “ev experience” in this car was rather poor. However, it makes a very good hybrid. After driving the car it definitely made sense to me why we should draw a distinction between a PHEV and an EREV and the Volt definitely shines as an EREV after comparing with this car.

    1. kdawg says:

      I didn’t get to drive the Energi’s when they came out, but I sat in them at the Detroit Auto Show. The C-max felt, for lack of a better word, chincy. Then I sat in the Fusion and it felt really nice/comfy. I guess that’s why the Fusion costs that much more.

      1. Puzzlegal says:

        Funny, we test drove both, and bought the C-max. And not for the price difference, this was our “mid life crisis, let’s buy what we want” car. The Fusion was too large on the outside, and didn’t have enough room in the trunk. I shuddered to think of trying to park the Fusion (and coming from a Civic, even the C-max is larger than I really wanted.) And the trunk is entirely eaten up by battery. Even the hybrid doesn’t have a great trunk, somehow.

        The C-Max’s hatchback form is so much more versatile. We’ve carried my husband’s bicycle in the back, and my daughter’s cello. (not at the same time.) Despite looking small, there’s plenty of room for groceries even with the seats up. I haven’t spent a ton of time in the back seat, but the front seats are quite comfy. And I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much fun it is to drive.

  3. Bloggin says:

    Fusion/C-Max Energi sales have been surging each month since July:

    July: 840
    Aug: 1,221
    Sept: 1,508
    Oct: 2,179

    Incentives in place are good until 1/2/2014 that has the plug-in version of the Fusion and C-Max just about $20/mo more than the Hybrid only version. Which makes going with the plug the best option.

    2014 C-Max Energi is on schedule to start production 12/4 and hit lots in January. Fusion Energi inventory is over 3k units with current incentives good until 1/2/2014.

    So expect Energi sales to increase again for Nov and Dec.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      I’ve driven a lot of plug-ins and the Fusion Energi (although very similar to the ICE version) is still one of my favs. I think the slow and steady monthly growth on it is a testament to it just being a really nice, sturdy car.

      The C-Max Energi? Hmm, it didn’t do much for me, but under 30K and it’ll get a nice bump – like the Prius PHV did…and also take some more of the conventional sales the standard version would have. At something like $29,950 it is a much more attractive proposition placed up against the Prius PHV and base LEAF.

      1. Puzzlegal says:

        I don’t really think the C-max is competing with the Leaf. The Leaf gets so much more range on pure electric, and so much less total range that they are aimed at different types of drivers. The C-max is competing with the Prius PHV and the Volt.

  4. evnow says:

    This also means we hit the second best month for plugins – after the record creating August.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Yupe, will probably do a little recap on just that tomorrow. (Its been a long day and I’m way too bushed to schedule out any more content tonight, lol)

  5. Dave R says:

    If only the C-MAX Energi had the same trunk room as the regular hybrid, I might consider it. Otherwise it seems that the Volt has more trunk room.

    Come on manufacturers, here’s what I want:

    20+ mile EV range – 50 kW of EV power.
    40+ MPG when the range extender kicks on.
    5 seats and at least the same cargo room as a Prius.

    Bonus points for 30+ miles of EV range, 45+ MPG, more cargo room.

    1. Brian says:

      The Volt actually has a smaller trunk than the CMax Energi. It just happens to be laid out in a format that is more usable to most people.

      1. Nate says:

        I thought getting a Volt would help us from buying too much at Costco. Yet, we were still able to overspend and put a cart load of stuff in the back (which already had a diaper bag and stroller back there). We still had some room to spare, so it failed to help us with that little issue.

  6. Mint says:

    The Ford Fusion Energi is a good looking PHEV, but it’s stupidly overpriced.

    I also don’t understand why the Energi models need FIVE freakin cubic feet taken out of the trunk for just 6 kWh extra battery and a runty 3kW charger. Lithium ion batteries need < 0.5 cu ft for that, so anything over 2 cubic feet is ridiculous.

    1. Nate says:

      Our local dealers advertise $9000 off MSRP, and have been for more than a month. Some of that is the Ford credit and some of that is dealer discount. On top of that there is the Federal credit ($3750 I think?). That brings it all down to a reasonable level.

      1. Mint says:

        Well that explains the surge in sales. Yeah, $9k off makes a heck of a difference in the value proposition. The LEAF tripled sales with a $6k discount.

        Looks like Ford was trying to use the Fusion plugin to lure the rich enviro types, but it doesn’t work so well nowadays with more competition.

        I can’t imagine the Energis cost much more than the hybrids to build, as 6kWh of additional battery capacity simply doesn’t cost much, nor does a charger. They should be selling as many Energis as regular hybrids in the near future if they start pricing in a way commensurate to incremental cost.

  7. Spec9 says:

    So 10,000 plug-in vehicles are being sold each month? That’s pretty good.

    1. GeorgeS says:

      10/4 on that.
      Maybe this proves we knew what we were talking about!!

  8. MrEnergyCzar says:

    The next big sales milestone is 15,000 plug-ins in a month, I’m guessing in March 2014…. more models out by then….

    MrEnergyCzar

  9. Jesse Gurr says:

    Hmm I wonder when Lincoln will get the Energi treatment. Wonder if they will actually call it Energi or something else to set it apart from the Fords. I haven’t heard “Dynamo” used for a while, though it doesn’t sound upscale enough.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      I’d buy a Lincoln if it was as big as the old Continentals. The current crop of Lincolns were downsized to meet CAFE standards. A PIH or BEV wouldn’t have this problem.

      The current crop leaves me and much of the US driving public as totally underwhelmed. I think they discontinued the wrong Division if this is the best they can do.

    2. Bloggin says:

      A Lincoln MKZ plug-in hybrid is a no brainer for Ford to do. But it needs to offer a larger battery pack, faster onboard charger, combo charging, and an option for inductive charging.

      But we should see a few more plug-in hybrids from Ford for 2014/15. The 2015 MKC is set to launch at the LA Auto Show in Nov, which is built on and extended version of the same platform as the Escape/C-Max Energi/Focus Electric. So it’s expected to be offered as a hybrid, along with a plug-in version, as it is the small car on the Lincoln side, like the C-Max Energi is on the Ford side.

      We should also see the new 2015 Edge and Lincoln MKX at the Detroit Auto Show in Jan. Which should offer the same drivetrains as the Fusion, as it is built on the same platform. So expecting ICE, Hybrid and Energi variants.

      Just looking at those models, I expect to see 3 or 4 additional plug-in models from Ford in 2014 as 2015 models.

  10. GeorgeS says:

    Jay, put in the table!! Words are lowsy at showing trends,

  11. Ocean Railroader says:

    I did predict that they would sell at least 900 to a 1000 of the C Maxes in that several new ones have popped up in my area which is apart as far as you can get from hard core EV support in that a lot of people joke about them. What is very interesting is that today I saw a car dear on TV talk about the C Max saying you can get a 100 plus miles a gallon. Which is very interesting considering this is the first serous plug in hybrid TV spot in my area. What this also means is that there is a vast deep down reserve of demand that is starting to find it’s way out of the mantle to help fuel the flood of EV’s and plug in hybrids.

    1. Bloggin says:

      Exactly. Plug-in hybrids are the sweet spot with electrified vehicles. They are the best of both worlds. You get an EV + Hybrid all in one. Energi models offer 21 EV miles and over 500 total mile range. So there is no need/expense of a back up car or rental for longer road trips.

      – ICE owners tend to initially upgrade to Hybrid or to plug-n hybrid.

      – Hybrid owners in larger numbers upgrade to plug in hybrid.

      – Those who want a full EV, but are uncomfortable with the total limited range of an EV under $40k, are also choosing a plug-in hybrid.

      1. Carl says:

        TREND: So here’s a trend to watch for…

        I fit all three bullets of Bloggin’s post.
        I first upgraded to a hybrid in 2007.
        Then I upgraded to a CMAX Energi, May 2013.

        As for the third bullet, I was interested in all electric, but the range was a limiting factor, and I was a little anxious about having to worry about the range.

        After 6 months of driving the Enegi, I no longer have any range anxiety. The next step is likely a full electric vehicle, especially if they keep improving. I suspect you will see all the plug-in hybrid buyers switching to full electric for their next cars or second family cars.

        I believe the plug-in hybrids are a stepping stone to full electric. It’s a way of testing the waters with less risk. And once you go plug-in, I can’t imagine wanting to go back to a non-plugin.

        My 2¢

        1. Puzzlegal says:

          Some of us may stick with gas, at least for one household vehicle. One of the features of the C-max I really like is that it’s total (gas+battery) range is longer than the range of my old Civic. So there are more trips I can take without worrying about finding gas at night in a strange city.

        2. David Murray says:

          Interestingly enough, I plan on doing the opposite. I plan to turn my Leaf in soon at end of lease and get a PHEV. The thing is, my commute is short and the Leaf has never been a problem for that. But some of the longer trips I’ve wanted to take have been a problem and charging station infrastructure is still in its infancy. A Chevy Volt will still allow me to drive 99% of the time in electric, but never worry about those longer trips. Truth be told, the C-Max Energi would fit just as well, but as I mentioned earlier, its all-electric driving experience leaves some to be desired.

  12. Tesla Fan says:

    chevy volt is the best, this is not better than the volt

  13. Angela says:

    I am leasing my C-max Energi for 1 month now. I absolutely love it. The comments about bad acceleration – I do not get, this little car has definate pick up, better pick up than my previous gas guzzling vehicles. For the month I have had the car my average MPG has been 96.4! I am blessed to have a charging station at work, but even in hybrid mode the mpg has been fantastic. I just made my longest trip 65 miles, it was only 30 degrees outside, so I had the heat on and for that trip I only burned 1.1 gallons of gas! This car is fantastic, I loved it much better than the prius.