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Ford Offering Free Charging for C-Max Energi

Maker follows footsteps of Nissan, Tesla with no-cost offer.

by on Nov.17, 2015

Ford is offering free charging to some 2016 C-Max Energi owners or lessees.

With gas prices low and sales of fuel-efficient hybrids equally low, Ford is hoping to spur sales of its C-Max Energi hybrid by following the lead of other automakers with free charging.

Nissan offered free charging to Leaf owners in selected states in an attempt to boost sales of the compact, and all Teslas have free access to any of the company’s thousands of supercharging stations across the country.

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Now Ford is partnering with EVgo for “EV 1-2-3 Charge” for unlimited access to charging stations in four-hour blocks. EVgo has more than 500 stations across the U.S. (more…)

Ford Moving Two Key Models from Michigan to Mexico?

Maker confirms move but insists it has not decided on final location.

by on Jul.09, 2015

The 2016 Ford Focus.

(This story has been updated reflecting comments by Ford.)

In a surprise announcement, Ford said it will move two key models from a suburban Detroit assembly plant to another factory when they’re redesigned in 2018. There has been widespread news reportage indicating the Ford Focus and C-Max models will be shifted to Mexico, but the maker has said a final production site has not yet been determined.

The news come shortly after Ford announced it would drop a third shift at the Michigan Assembly Plant due to weak sales of the products built there, including the Ford Focus and the C-Max.

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The announcement also precedes by barely two weeks the start-up of quadrennial contract talks between the second-largest Detroit automaker and the United Auto Workers Union. That has at least one well-placed labor source wondering whether the decision, more than three years ahead of the actual move, might be a bargaining ploy.

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Ford Takes it to the Max in Paris – With New S-Max and C-Max Models

Europe gets two "un-minivans."

by on Oct.02, 2014

Ford's European "people-mover" family includes the B-, C- and S-Max models.

Ford is rolling out two new “people movers” for the 2014 Paris Motor Show, and American motorists may see the updated version of the C-Max make it to U.S. showrooms in the near future.

The C-Max and stretched Grand C-Max will debut alongside an all-new version of the bigger S-Max. Along with the pint-sized B-Max, they make up a family of sport-activity vehicles that serve as a European alternative for families who’d like something a little more visually appealing and fun to drive than a classic minivan.

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The new S-Max is the most sophisticated of the bunch, and will undergo the most complete changeover. Under the skin, the 2015 remake will share the same CD4 platform that will underpin the next-generation Ford Mondeo line – which is sold in the U.S. as the Fusion sedan. (more…)

Ford Using Sun to Power Solar Energi

C-Max concept charges batter using special panels on roof.

by on Jan.02, 2014

Ford's C-Max Solar Energi Concept will debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week.

Automakers are struggling to find ways to make it cheaper and easier to recharge electric vehicles and Ford plans to show off one possible alternative that replaces the plug with the sun.

The Detroit maker plans to reveal a concept version of its current plug-in hybrid, the C-Max, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that uses a solar panel on its roof to recharge the battery.

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Called the C-Max Solar Energi, it can collect a day’s worth of sunlight and get the same charge as the current C-Max Energi gets when plugged into the wall –albeit needing a full day’s strong sun to generate what you could get from a wall plug in four hours. Ford believes that this type of charging could account for 75% of all driving car owners currently do during a typical day. (more…)

Ford Cuts Production of C-Max, Focus to Offset Oversupply

Maker introducing new Transit Connect Taxi to Hong Kong.

by on Oct.22, 2013

Ford is cutting production on the C-Max. It has a 122-day supply of the car: double the ideal number.

Ford Motor Co. continues working to balance its global business by implementing its first significant production cuts in more than a year while pushing plans to open a new market for Ford-made taxi cabs in southern China.

Ford officials said the automaker will temporarily stop producing the Focus and C-Max at the Michigan Assembly plant for two weeks this fall to reduce growing inventories. The assembly plant will be idle for the weeks of Oct. 28 and Dec. 16.

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Inventory of the C-Max, which has been hurt by challenges to its fuel-economy rating, has crept up to a 122-day supply, which is double what most automakers consider as a desirable. With the government shutdown unfolding, Focus started October with a 71-day supply. (more…)

Ford to Re-State Fuel Economy as EPA Preps Revised Mileage Testing

Maker to acknowledge gap between sticker and real-world numbers.

by on Aug.15, 2013

Ford is about to re-state the fuel economy rating on C-Max Hybrid - and the EPA may follow with changes in its own testing and labeling procedures.

Ford Motor Co. will announce significant revisions to the fuel economy rating of its C-Max Hybrid later today, an estimated 10% reduction reflecting the gap between what has been posted on the “people-mover’s” window sticker and what most buyers are getting in real-world use.

Ford has been taking some hits for the fuel economy ratings of several vehicles, especially hybrid models, and now faces several lawsuits from disgruntled owners. But it is far from alone. A number of makers have been criticized – and occasionally sued – for what critics have called unrealistic and overly optimistic ratings.

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Manufacturers like Ford, in turn, have pointed the finger back at the Environmental Protection Administration, the federal agency overseeing mileage testing and approved mpg ratings. The EPA is expected to follow Ford’s lead by announcing on Friday that it will revise the way it determines fuel economy for vehicles – particularly hybrids, which frequently deliver lower real-world numbers than motorists were led to expect. (more…)

Marchionne: Chrysler Will Get Two “People-Movers,” but Only One Minivan

Maker will respond to shifting market with 2015 roll-out.

by on Jan.17, 2013

The Chrysler Town & Country may end its long run in 2014, when one of the maker's two minivans is expected to get a radical makeover.

The company that invented the modern minivan still sees a place for “people carriers” in its line-up, but only one will be the classic soccer mom-mobile, according to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

The maker currently has two models, the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan, that will continue in production through at least 2014, but it has been sending mixed signals about whether they will both remain in the line-up going forward as sales continue to tumble, buyers looking for hipper alternatives. Now, it appears, only one will remain, the other brand getting an alternative approach.

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“People grow out of minivans,” Marchionne concluded during a meeting with reporters at the North American International Auto Show. The challenge is to find an alternative that can maintain its appeal – something Chrysler thinks it may have come up with.

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Spy Shots: Ford Galaxy Van

Coming to America?

by on Jan.02, 2013

Car Spy Jim Dunne nabbed this image of a Ford Galaxy minivan testing in Detroit.

Ford is developing a new design and probably engine installation for the next version of its European Galaxy van – or so one would conclude from these shots of a prototype under test at Ford’s home base in Dearborn.

The unanswered question is whether a U.S. version of the Galaxy might be in the works.  The maker has been out of the American minivan market since abandoning the largely unnoticed Ford Freestar in 2007. It has since tried to find alternative paths to potential minivan buyers with “people-movers” like the big Ford Flex, the smaller C-Max and an assortment of crossovers.

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One look tells the story of the prototype Galaxy’s front end. Despite the heavy camo, it carries an all-new appearance, with a strong block-shape grille opening in place of the current oval. The higher hood line may have two purposes – house a taller, turbocharged (or V6 ?) engine, and change the Galaxy’s appearance to that of a small SUV from the minivan shape it now displays. Those front-hinged rear doors clearly identify – to American shoppers – this vehicle as a small SUV.

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Jurors Name North American Car, Truck of the Year Finalists

Chrysler, Mazda, Cadillac, Honda make list; Ford lands two.

by on Dec.12, 2012

The C-Max is one of two Ford products up for North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year awards.

Ford Motor Co. is in the rare position where it could land both the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year. The maker’s new Fusion sedan and C-Max “people mover” were among the six finalists named today by the 49-member NACTOY jury.

Also on the list are the Cadillac ATS luxury sedan and Honda Accord sedan in the car category, and the Ram 1500 and Mazda CX-5 crossover in the Truck/Utility category.  If Ford were to score in both categories, it would be only the third time in the 20 years of the widely-followed award that a single maker won both Car and Truck honors.

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But Ford won’t have a cakewalk, stressed Lindsay Brooke, a member of the NACTOY organizing committee.  “These candidates,” he declared during a Detroit Automotive Press Association luncheon called to announce the finalists, “they’re all knock-outs. Many jurors have said it’s the toughest year.”

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GE Set to Buy 2,000 Ford C-Max Energi Plug-Ins

Largest-ever purchase of battery vehicles.

by on Nov.20, 2012

Ford will officially introduce the new C-Max Energi plug-in at the LA Auto Show.

General Electric plans to purchase 2,000 Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrids in what is described as the largest-ever plug-in electrified vehicle fleet sale.

The move is part of GE’s commitment to convert half of its global fleet to alternative fuel vehicles. The maker has also said it will purchase Chevrolet Volt plug-ins as part of that switch the battery power and other cleaner technologies.

“At GE, we are focused on providing our customers and our fleet with more economically and environmentally efficient vehicles,” Mark Vachon, vice president of ecomagination, said. “The Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid is a great addition to our expanding fleet of alternative fuel vehicles.”

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Ford claims the C-MAX Energi is America’s most fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid with a 108 MPGe city rating from the Environmental Protection Agency and a 620-mile single-tank range. That apparently appealed to GE since the vehicles will be used by the giant conglomerate’s sales and service professionals – many who drive more mileage daily than average commuters.

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