In marketing class, they often talk about being a “first-mover” and the advantages that come with being first in the market. It’s not cast in stone, but it has served Toyota well. Other manufacturers have their own hybrids, but Toyota is still the leader. Ford would like to change that.
According to Reuters, Ford plans to introduce a dedicated hybrid gasoline-electric car as a 2019 model that will be built at its Wayne assembly plant near Detroit. The new model, which has the internal code C240, likely will be built on Ford’s new C2 global compact architecture, which will also be shared with the Focus and Escape.
Like the Prius, Ford likely will build a hydrid in several bodystyles and in different configurations, such as a plug-in model. All told, initial sales should be 120,000, according to sources. While the sales projection seem low for a car that seems to be part of the evolution of personal transportation, Reuters says that consumer demand for hybrids hasn’t met the sales projections in the U.S. Aside of the Prius’ success, sales for Ford’s C-Max have been moderate at best, with sales down 29 percent to under 17,000 for January-July 2014; Ford’s Fusion Hybrid accounts for one in six Fusions.