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New Ads Position Ford C-Max as Prius Alternative

Ford takes on the 800-lb gorilla of the hybrid world.

by on Oct.04, 2012

Ford wants to go head-to-head with the Toyota Prius in new ad campaign.

Expect to see a lot about C-Max.  That’s the Ford C-Max, to be more precise, the maker’s all-new people-mover and the first domestic hybrid that lifts a page from the Toyota Prius handbook by adopting a unique body style that won’t be shared with a standard gas powertrain.

Like the ever-popular Prius, meanwhile, Ford will offer both a “conventional” hybrid model as well as a plug-in version dubbed the Ford C-Max Energi.  The maker will produce them at an upgraded plant in suburban Detroit alongside the new battery-electric version of the compact Focus.

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Ford has been one of the most aggressive makers in challenging Toyota’s persistent lead in the hybrid segment but – like Honda which actually launched the first hybrid in the U.S. market, the original Insight – Ford has so far been unable to crack Toyota’s lead. The Prius currently accounts for more than half of all U.S. gas-electric vehicle sales, a lead that has grown with the creation of a so-called “Prius family” of hybrids.


Ford, Toyota Teaming up on Hybrid, Telematics Technology

Unusual collaboration aimed at high-efficiency trucks and SUVs.

by on Aug.22, 2011

Ford's Derrick Kuzak and Toyota's Takeshi Uchiyamada.

Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. are joining forces in a 50-50 partnership aimed at developing the next generation of hybrid technologies specifically to bolster the fuel efficiency of pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles.

The new partnership, a clear response to recent federal mandates requiring automakers to boost fuel economy to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 was triggered by a chance meeting in an airport lobby.  As part of their new alliance, Toyota and Honda also plan to work together on advanced telematics systems that will pick up where today’s Ford Sync and Toyota Entune leave off.

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Toyota and Ford are already the world’s two leading manufacturers of hybrid vehicles, the Japanese maker’s Prius sedan accounting for roughly half the gas-electric vehicles sold worldwide.  But the challenge is to expand the technology to ensure that even the largest vehicles – like the Ford F-150 pickups and Toyota’s comparable Tunda truck – can deliver significantly better mileage.

“This agreement brings together the capability of two global leaders in hybrid vehicles and hybrid technology to develop a better solution more quickly and affordably for our customers,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development.