Ford C-MAX Energi
Ford recently announced RMB 11.4 billion (nearly $1.8 billion) investment in China for research and development.
On the Chinese New Energy Vehicles front, Ford intends to begin sales of C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid in 2016.
C-MAX Energi was earlier introduced in Europe, but without spectacular success (several hundred sold so far this year). So this may be a case of helping to optimize the company's relatively new Euro-based e-assembly facility.
The open question now is: How well will the C-MAX Energi will do in China?
"At the core of Ford’s plan to provide accessible innovation to change the way the world moves is Henry Ford’s belief that while a good business must make great products and a healthy return, a great business must do all this while creating a better world. In China, one way Ford’s is building a better world is through the introduction of advanced new energy vehicles, or NEVs.
Starting in 2016, Ford will expand consumers’ choice of fuel efficient vehicles in China with two new NEVs: the Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and the Ford Mondeo hybrid electric vehicle. Leveraging Ford’s global experience and expertise in NEV development, the two vehicles will help to reduce consumers’ fuel bills while reducing emissions in China’s crowded cities."
We don't expect the C-max lineup to be offered past 2018 when Ford is promising a new 'killer-app' hybrid (and PHEV) to challenge the Toyota Prius - so this offering may just be to test and setup in-roads inside China for future plug-ins.