March 2014 Ford C-Max Sales Up from February; Down from 2013

Ford Motor Company said today that 2,295 C-Max Hybrid and Energi vehicles were sold in March 2014, down 39% from March 2013.  There was a month-over-month gain of 24% over the 1,853 sold in February.  January 2014 was by far the lowest full-month for sales since the C-Max was introduced to the US market.  Sales have increased substantially since January.  Overall, Ford U.S. sales increased 3 percent from last year with Ford Fusion sales posting a record sales month of 32,963 cars, up 9 percent from last year’s record month.

Complete data on U.S. Ford C-Max Hybrid, Energi, Toyota Prius V and Plug-in sales are followed in another blog but published later, because Ford doesn’t report the division between Hybrid and Energi sales until a later date.

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The Ford C-Max Energi is in a New Viral Video

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Enjoying our 2013 Ford C-Max Energi

Last December I noted the Ford C-Max and Fusion Energi were in a YouTube video that was created by a videographer, Devin Graham, who has created many viral videos.  The video, the Bike Parkour – Streets of San Francisco, has more than 4 million views today.  A couple days ago, a new video was posted on YouTube, Upside: Anything is Possible.  The video features Pashon Murray, co-founder of Detroit Dirt, which recycles waste food, zoo manure and other organic material into compost used to create community gardens in Detroit.  The video was the idea of Ford’s PR agency, Team Detroit, but published on a new YouTube channel called Upside.  The new short’s script and videography parallels the Cadillac ELR commercial: “Poolside” (the ELR is the rebadged Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid) with more than one million views on YouTube published February 7th, 2014.  The Ford C-Max Energi video is stirring opinions at Green Car Reports, the Detroit Free Press, various other websites, and at Twitter with the hash tag #Upside.  The C-Max Energi short has almost 400,000 views on YouTube – that’s about a hundred thousand more than when I started writing this blog a few hours ago.  I like the “Anything is Possible” video and it’s definitely giving the Ford C-Max Energi some needed attention.  Whenever I’ve talked to anyone about our C-Max Energi, they didn’t realize Ford made a plug-in vehicle (actually, three plug-in vehicles) or that Ford sold more plug-in vehicles last month in the U.S. than anyone else.

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It’s a Great Time to Buy a C-Max Energi; Here’s How to Get a Bargain

Last month, I wrote an article on deals for the C-Max Energi in California.  Those were based on government incentives in California.  How can the rest of us get a deal on a Ford C-Max Energi.  My son’s interested in buying a Ford C-Max Energi.  I’m searching for a deal for him.  I decided to write a blog that might be helpful to others.

If you follow all of this advice, you can get an exceptional discount on the Ford C-Max Energi, $14,000 or more off MSRP and additional tax credits and incentives depending on your state and city.

I enjoy finding bargains.  This is a good time to shop for a 2013 Energi.  The 2014 and 2013 models are the same, but Ford and dealers need to clear out old inventory.  Many 2013 models have been sitting on dealer lots for a long time.  The weather in much of the country didn’t encourage car shopping lately either.  It’s a great time for a car buyer.

There are two metrics that determine how desperate manufacturers and dealers are to sell their vehicles.  One is how much inventory is available for sale.  A 60 to 70 day supply (assembly line to sale) is considered normal.  The other is days to turn, or the time it takes to sell a car from the day it is delivered to the dealer.  Right now, it is 64.9 days according to TrueCar, which is quite long and up 23% from one year ago.

Here’s another metric, related to those above, to indicate regions where dealers should be most competitive.  For some time, I’ve kept track of dealer inventory in different metropolitan regions.  Using Edmunds.com, one can get the inventory of 2013 and 2014 vehicles within 50 miles of a zip code.  The ratio of 2013 inventory to total inventory is the metric I’m using.  In other words, what is the percent of unsold vehicles that are the 2013 model year.  It’s also important that inventory is high.  In other words, if there was only one 2013 Energi in the region that normally has 15, it wouldn’t be an area to get the best price – inventory is too low in the region.  Regions with a large percent of unsold 2013′s will be our best markets to get a deal.

Some metro areas stand out for bargain shopping for the Ford C-Max Energi.  Raleigh-Durham (zip code 27713) inventory is at 104% of the next highest month of inventory, on February 3rd, 69% of the inventory was 2013′s and on March 9th, 79% of the inventory was 2013′s.  Washington D.C. (zip code 20011) inventory is at 74% of the highest month of inventory (August 2013), on February 3rd, 87% of the inventory was 2013′s and on March 9th, 76% of the inventory was 2013′s.   Atlanta (zip code 30301) inventory is at 83% of the highest month of inventory (August 2013), on February 3rd, 94% of the inventory was 2013′s and on March 9th, 62% of the inventory was 2013′s. Austin (zip code 73301) inventory is at 73% of the highest month of inventory (November 2013), on February 3rd, 50% of the inventory was 2013′s and on March 9th, 50% of the inventory was 2013′s.  Even though my son and I live in Utah, we’re considering a trip to one of these areas where the price on a new Energi is far below invoice.

Here’s another suggestion: examine the days to turn for the vehicles that you’re interested in buying.  Use Ford.com to find dealers in the market of interest.  Search each dealer’s website for 2013 Energis.  If you find one of interest, display the window sticker.  It’s normally available at the dealer’s website.  Examine the top edge of the window sticker. You’ll see a section on the top edge that looks like the image below.  This car was built on March 19th, 2013.  The format is Year – Month – Date.  It’s on the left side of the image.

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Although the dealer didn’t receive the car on this date, it gives you a good idea of how long it’s been sitting on the lot.  In this case, a very long time.

Finally, there may be incentives (tax credits, free parking, HOV lane access, etc.) in your state, region or city.  These will be available where the vehicle is registered, not where it’s purchased.  State and local incentives can be found at the U.S. Department of Energy’s website.  There is also a tax credit of $4007 from the Federal Government.

In addition, Ford has several incentives that may depend on the region where the Energi is purchased.  In most cases, you can get a rebate of $3,000 plus 0% for up to 72 months on the loan this month.  Finally, this can be combined with a competitive lease offer of $1000.  If you lease a vehicle now (or its ended very recently), ask the dealer if your vehicle qualifies for the additional $1000 rebate from Ford.

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