It looks likely but I may be reading too much into tonight’s press release. Ford issued a press release tonight, “Ford Achieves All-Time High Hybrid Share and Toyota Slides, as Fusion Hybrid Closes in on Another Sales Record.” Ford notes that market share for Ford hybrids increased 9 percentage points in December 2012 from December 2011 while Toyota’s dropped 8 points. Fine. This is old news. They also projected 5,500 hybrid units sold in January with the bullet point, “Ford Fusion Hybrid achieved all-time monthly sales record in December 2012 with 3,244 sales; Ford hybrids expected to deliver best January hybrid sales month ever with a projected 5,500 units sold.” Now, let’s look at the numbers. Ford sold 4,310 C-Max Vehicles (Hybrid and Energi) in December, down from 4,848 in November. They sold 3,244 Fusion Hybrids in December up from 1,834 in November. They sold 7,957 hybrids total in December 2012 including 2012 Escape and Lincoln MKZ models. Am I reading too much into this statement? Maybe they meant a projected 5,500 Fusion units sold. That would be fantastic but probably too large to be correct. If they mean they will only sell 5,500 hybrids in January, it would be an awful month for hybrids after the fast start at the end of 2012. 5,500 would be many more than in January 2012 but that isn’t a big deal. They didn’t have the C-Max in January 2012. They didn’t have the new Fusion Hybrid in January 2012.
Ford said the turnover rate for the Fusion Hybrid is just 10 days on average, the shortest time for a vehicle to sit on the dealer’s lot of the entire Ford lineup. Ford also said 70 percent of new Fusion Hybrid owners were new to the Ford brand. The press release hardly mention the Ford C-Max.
I’m not sure if we’ll know on Friday February 1st or Monday February 4th whether there is grim news for Ford hybrid sales in January. The press release quoted above said February 4th. There is another press release which states that the sales results will be released on Friday.