Americans love freedom of choice, and Ford was quick to realize that forcing Americans to purchase only compact hybrids and plug-in hybrids would be very un-American. Therefore, the company introduced the Ford C-MAX Energi — Ford’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) alongside the new Ford C-MAX Hybrid — to the World this morning at the 2011 North American International Auto Show.
Just like its gasoline-powered brother, the hybrid and PHEV C-MAX people movers include a hands-free power liftgate that is motion activated through a sensor just under the bumper, allowing drivers with their hands full to sweetp the foot under the car and have the liftgate open automatically. While Ford didn’t disclose mileage numbers during the press conference, expect the Blue Oval to spill the beans closer to launch time.
Expect the C-MAX PHEV Energi to launch in North America and Europe by 2012 and the C-MAX Hybrid in the same time frame for North America, while those in Europe will get it in 2013. All North American models will be built in Michigan, while the copies destined for Europe will be assembled in Germany.
NO SMALL PROMISE: FORD DELIVERS ON COMMITMENT WITH 10 NEW SMALL CARS AND ELECTRIFICATION PLANS
- Providing consumers even more choice, Ford is showcasing a family of 10 new C-segment cars at the 2011 North American International Auto Show – delivering on its vision for a new generation of high-quality, fuel-efficient products for customers around the world
- World debut for three new electrified products that give consumers real fuel-saving choice – all-new Ford Focus Electric, the first Ford full-electric passenger car; Ford C-MAX Energi, its first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and the new Ford C-MAX Hybrid
- Global reveal: Ford Vertrek concept, a design vision for a new-generation small sport utility vehicle that will join the new C-car product family, makes its first appearance
- Ford C-MAX, a new seven-passenger multi-activity vehicle with dual sliding doors and a hands-free power liftgate, makes its North American debut at the auto show in Detroit
Detroit, Jan. 10, 2011 – Ford is producing 10 new-generation, fuel-efficient smaller cars that people really want – and is offering consumers its greatest variety of small vehicle choices, fuel or no fuel.
Delivering on its promise to create a new generation of global small cars, Ford today showcases 10 new C-segment vehicles together on one stage at the 2011 North American International Auto Show. Led by the all-new Ford Focus, the vehicle lineup demonstrates how Ford is transforming its product range for a high-tech, fuel-efficient future.
The impressive new model array sees the world debut of Focus Electric, the first fuel-free, zero-emissions passenger car from Ford Motor Company; the debut of two all-new, high-mileage family-friendly C-MAX vehicles including Ford’s first production plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV); and the global reveal of a vision for a future small sport utility vehicle – Ford Vertrek concept.
“It’s about giving consumers more options for fuel-efficient vehicles of this size and footprint and providing them the power of choice for electrified vehicles, as well,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. “Today, a world-class, all-new Focus family joining the new Fiesta lineup is delivering more choice. Now, we’re bringing even more to customers with the versatility of the new C-MAX and three different alternatives for customers who want to save fuel by going electric, offering real choice and more products people really want.”
New platform powered by One Ford
The new products are created from a common global C-segment platform, which leverages Ford design, engineering and manufacturing strengths globally, broadens the reach of global car products to more than 120 markets, brings new levels of fuel efficiency and smart technology to customers worldwide and extends the company’s electrification strategy.
“These 10 great cars are what our One Ford plan is all about,” said Alan Mulally, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company. “Today it all comes together with a tremendous vision for more great products our customers will love, a strong business from a smarter global approach and a better world with major improvements in fuel economy and electrification. What is so cool is that this is just the beginning.”
Just a year after Mulally revealed Ford’s vision for its future global C-segment family at the same show, this year’s sweeping demonstration features 10 vehicles that will broaden the brand’s appeal in the world’s largest vehicle segment:
- The all-new Ford Focus, the segment flagship targeting new levels of fuel economy and introducing an array of smart technologies to transform what customers expect from vehicles in the segment. The new Focus family – which goes on sale in North America and Europe starting early in 2011 – includes three vehicles, the dynamic five-door hatchback, the sporty four-door sedan and an all-new wagon to be marketed in Europe
- All-new Ford Focus ST, the company’s first global performance vehicle, launching in 2012
- World debut of all-new Focus Electric, Ford’s first battery electric passenger vehicle. Requiring no fuel and with zero emissions, Focus Electric is the first of five electrified vehicles in the Ford product plans, three of which debut at Detroit from the new platform
- New Ford C-MAX, a new-generation multi-activity vehicle for five passengers being introduced in Europe and other global markets
- New seven-passenger version of the Ford C-MAX multi-activity vehicle, with an industry-first hands-free liftgate, making its North American debut
- World debut of the versatile five-passenger Ford C-MAX Energi, Ford’s first production plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, which will be introduced in North America in 2012 and Europe a year later
- World debut of Ford C-MAX Hybrid, which will also be launched in 2012 in North America and in Europe in 2013
- Global reveal of the new Ford Vertrek concept, the vision for a future compact sport utility vehicle from the new platform to appeal to customers around the world
The new family symbolizes that the One Ford global product development approach will give customers around the world more and more choice – including three significant electrified products – plus significant advancements in new features, smart technologies and fuel efficiency.
“A year ago, we shared our vision for a new generation of vehicles from a common global platform,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president for Global Product Development. “Today we’re delivering on that promise, but even more importantly we’re demonstrating the possibilities this new global approach has as it transforms the core of the Ford product lineup around the world.”
As Ford shows three significant new electrified small cars in Detroit – Focus Electric, C-MAX Energi and C-MAX Hybrid – the benefits of a key principle of its global product plan are clear.
The Ford approach to vehicle electrification leverages its new global product platforms, introducing electrified versions of traditionally powered cars – a strategy already proven within the North American Ford lineup of five hybrid vehicles, including the award-winning Ford Fusion Hybrid and Ford Escape Hybrid. This strategy differs from other automakers producing unique electrified vehicles because it enables Ford to deliver electrified vehicles more affordably to more customers – extending the sustainability benefits.
It means customers have more choices to achieve the fuel economy they need and want – making fuel efficiency a true reason to buy a Ford – plus enjoy a great-driving vehicle that embodies the company’s commitment to its core quality, green, safe and smart brand values.
The One Ford global product strategy allows Ford to leverage its investment in new products to give customers more – more model choices and more industry-leading features and technologies such as the new SYNC® with MyFord Touch™ driver connect technology.
Small cars for growth
The new model lineup is significant for global markets and is designed to bring even more appeal to the North American Ford showroom, where the company’s small car portfolio strengthens the Ford hand in an important and growing segment of the marketplace.
The new products will contribute further to balancing the Ford product range in North America. In 2004, cars and crossovers represented only 35 percent of Ford sales volumes, with trucks and SUVs claiming 65 percent. By 2010, stronger car and crossover sales resulted in a more balanced product range, up to 57 percent of overall volumes.
Small cars like the Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus now represent one in five new vehicle sales in the United States, up from 14 percent of the market in 2004. The new Focus is poised to build on the impact of the all-new Fiesta in the Ford showroom, and with even more new products being offered in the segment, consumers will be given unprecedented choice.
Half of all first-time buyers under age 30 buy their first vehicle in the small car segment, which makes it a key segment for competitiveness. The expectations these customers have for a vehicle reflect other influences in their tech-savvy lives, such as mobile phones, laptops and tablet devices, in which “small” equals expressive and sophisticated, rather than basic.
Globally, small cars are even more popular, with one in four vehicles around the world coming from the C-segment. The new Ford product family is designed and engineered for global strength and appeal.
The momentum behind this new family will continue as volume production of the first of these new C-segment models gets under way in early 2011.
Production of the new Focus ramped up in December at the company’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., and the Saarlouis plant in Germany.
Production of Focus Electric, C-MAX Energi and C-MAX Hybrid models for North America will follow in late 2011, also at Michigan Assembly Plant, which is one of three North American plants being transformed to build these next-generation small car products.
Marketing Ford small cars globally
With the global appeal of its all-new small cars, Ford is taking an increasingly global approach to interact with customers by extending its engagement in social media through projects like the Fiesta Movement, Focus Rally: America and the new Focus Global Test Drive.
“Developing a new generation of global cars like the all-new Focus creates huge opportunities to take a One Ford global approach to engaging with customers, too,” said Jim Farley, group vice president, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. “Ambitious and innovative engagement activities like our Focus Global Test Drive are more possible than ever before thanks to the significant efficiencies we’re able to realize by taking a single creative approach globally and creating a deeper and more emotional connection with our customers.”[/expand]