October 2013 Second Best Plug-In Sales Month Ever – Led By Two Unexpected Players!

4 years ago by Jay Cole 9

More And More Plug-In Vehicles Are Coming To The Market Every Year - More And More Are Selling (...but not from Mitsubishi)

More And More Plug-In Vehicles Are Coming To The Market Every Year – More And More Are Selling (…but not from Mitsubishi)

Despite More Than 300 Million Electric Miles Driven By The Chevrolet Volt, The Sales Boost In October Came From Cross-Town Rival Ford

Despite More Than 300 Million Electric Miles Driven By The Chevrolet Volt, The Sales Boost In October Came From Cross-Town Rival Ford

Going into October, sales expectations were high – but not exceptionally high, as it was known through the inventory levels at both Nissan and Chevrolet that the LEAF-Volt combo would not be setting any records this month.

Yet October ended up being the second best month ever for plug-in sales with more than 9,500 vehicles sold…with two unexpected players, once thought to be fringe participants in the segment, leading the way.

The Toyota Prius PHV, aided by a MSRP cut of up to $4,620, translated to a industry high 2,095 plug-ins sold.

When Toyota Decided To Drop The Prius PHV's Price to $29,990, The American Consumer Responded

When Toyota Decided To Drop The Prius PHV’s Price to $29,990, The American Consumer Responded

Also contributing to the strong month, the Energi tandem from Ford (Fusion Energi + C-Max Energi) along with the Focus Electric made the Detroit automaker the number 1 manufacturer of cars with plugs in October with 2,294 total electric vehicles sold.

Top 5 Monthly Sales Results To Date In The US (estimated):

  1. August 2013 – 11,073
  2. October 2013 – 9,660
  3. December 2012 – 8,559
  4. June 2013 – 8,292
  5. September 2013 – 8,027
2013 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers (click to enlarge) *Estimated Tesla North America numbers have been included in this graph, which include Canadian sales. Tesla Total Sales Verified Through June 2013 (as per Q2 financials) *Fiat 500e estimated based on available data

2013 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers (click to enlarge) *Estimated Tesla North America numbers have been included in this graph, which include Canadian sales. Tesla Total Sales Verified Through June 2013 (as per Q2 financials) *Fiat 500e estimated based on available data

Other points of interest for the month:

  • More Than 1,000 Americans Fell In Love With The Interior Features Of The Ford Fusion Energi In October

    More Than 1,000 Americans Fell In Love With The Interior Features Of The Ford Fusion Energi In October

    1st time Ford ever has been the top plug-in manufacturer

  • 2nd time the Toyota Prius PHV has been the top selling plug-in (November 2012 – 1,766)
  • 1st time 4 separate automakers sold at least 2,000 units in any given month (Ford, Toyota, GM, Nissan)
  • 1st time 3 different models sold more than 2,000 copies in a month (Toyota Prius PHV – 2,095, Chevrolet Volt – 2,022, Nissan LEAF – 2,002)
  • 1st time 5 different models sold more than 1,000 copies in a month (Ford C-Max Energi – 1,092, Ford Fusion Energi – 1,092)
  • 4 models set new year highs – Toyota Prius PHV, Ford C-Max Energi, Ford Fusion Energi, Honda Accord PHV
More Plug-In Supercars Are Sure To Raise The Profile Of The Segment In 2014

More Plug-In Supercars (Like The Above i8 In Its 4 Designer Colors) Are Sure To Raise The Profile Of The Segment In 2014

In total, an estimated 77,449 plug-in vehicles have been sold so far in 2013, which already handily leads 2012 result of 52,581 by 23,768 or 47%.

And while we don’t expect to crest 100,000 this year without two unbelievable months to close-out the calendar, it seems all but assured for 2014.

Coming in 2014 we have the high profile additions of the BMW i3 and the Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive, as well as the national roll-out of the smart ED, and the limited offerings hitting the market from the likes of Cadillac with the ELR (just priced from $75,995) in January and BMW with the i8 (priced from $135,925) in the Spring- not too mention the continued trend of plug-in MSRPs continueing to fall as automakers get electrification costs under control.

Long story short – everything is going in the right direction for plug-in vehicles!

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9 responses to "October 2013 Second Best Plug-In Sales Month Ever – Led By Two Unexpected Players!"

  1. GeorgeS says:

    Do we know what Ford had done to improve sales? Have they dropped the price?

    Also, why has Tesla’s sales in the US gone down. Is it demand gone down or the fact they are concentrating on Europe?

    1. David Murray says:

      As for Tesla, yes sales are down in the USA because they are sending a lot of product overseas. As for the Ford issue, I’m just going to speculate. I’ve heard they were offering the Energi cars with a good bit of incentives. I’ve heard stories of people getting as much as $9,000 off MSRP. By the time you do that and include government incentives, it would be hard to resist if you were already in the market for a Cmax or Fusion. I’m also guessing they finally had enough inventory on lots to get the sales people interested in learning about them and selling them.

    2. Bloggin says:

      Ford dropped the lease price of the 2013 Fusion Energi models to within $20/mo(monthly lease+down payment/months) of the hybrid model, which makes going plug-in a much better option and helps clear out 2013 inventory.

      2013 Fusion Energi: $395/mo – 2013 and 2014 Fusion Hybrid: $379

      But the 2013 C-Max Energi actually cost about $60/mo less than the C-Max Hybrid.

      2013 C-Max Energi: $319/mo – 2013 C-Max Hybrid $383/mo

      So expect to see C-Max Energi sales continue to climb.

      Why is Ford doing this? It could be that the Hybrid took a hit with the lowered mpg from 47/47 to 45/43, but the Energi model did not. So Ford is pushing consumers more toward the Energi plug-in model, while planning to release the 2014 hybrid model with announced aerodynamic improvements, along with engine/transmission efficiency improvements. Which is to provide a boost in mpg closer to the original 47/47.

      1. Schmeltz says:

        Thanks Bloggin. That puts the sudden Ford sales success into perspective moreso. Good for them.

    3. KeiJidosha says:

      Would be interesting to know how many Energi sales are from California where freeways with HOV lanes also sport large C-Max/Fusion billboards touting 108 mpge and HOV lane access.

  2. Dave K. says:

    The total for 2013 may be higher than you think, people looking to take advantage of the tax credit are going to want to take delivery before 12/31(notice Dec. 2012 is in the top 5) and the dealers are wanting to move their ’13s to make room for the ’14s. Also we are reaching critical mass where there are enough cars around that people are starting to consider it as an option, a lot of people don’t really want to be first, they let someone else do the experiment for them. I know a lot of people I work with have asked me about it, people I would never have thought would be interested!

  3. Schmeltz says:

    Wow…where did Ford and Toyota come from!? I see that Toyota dropped the price but how is it that Ford is suddenly coming out of nowhere?

    1. Nate says:

      1. Available inventory that was previously limited

      2. Great incentives. Since mid September I’ve regularly see Fusion Energi advertised at $9000 off, as well as lease specials on it and the C-Max. These deals were not available (at least not from my local dealers) when I was trying to get quotes at the end of July.

  4. ModernMarvelFan says:

    This is all due to heavy discounts.

    CA Ford dealers are discounting Energi models heavily. Prius Plugin is the same way especially with the extra $1K trade in offer and 0% 60month deal on PIP.

    Both Ford and Toyota has dropped the MSRP on Energi and Prius Plugin.

    Lower price helps….