Friday, June 10, 2011

Ford Triples Electrics

Jumping in the electric/hybrid market in a big way.

Ford Motor Co. plans to triple electric vehicle production by 2013 and will make its C-max model hybrid-only, the automaker said Thursday.

Ford has shelved its earlier plan to bring a seven-passenger C-max to the U.S. market from Europe. The Dearborn automaker said it wants to focus on the five-passenger C-max hybrids instead. The C-max will be available as a two-mode hybrid, as well as a plug-in hybrid.

It will be the only Ford that isn't also available in a gasoline version.

In all, Ford will build 100,000 hybrid and electric vehicles by 2013, up from 35,000 a year today. The current offering includes hybrid versions of the Ford Escape SUV vehicle and the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans.

"The way we're executing our electric vehicles is a little different than other companies," said Jim Farley, Ford's vice president of marketing, speaking at the company's Van Dyke Transmission plant in Sterling Heights.

"We're not electrifying a certain vehicle and making a science project for a few people. We're electrifying our core (models)."

And that is the difference with Ford - the ability to offer the same model with different powertrains. Will be interesting to see how that will play out with dealer stock (going to keep all versions on hand?) and sales numbers in the long run. Best thing is that they are going to build them right here in Michigan; this will bring 220 more jobs, 170 for battery assembly in Rawsonville alone.