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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…)

Lincoln Doubling Production of MKZ Hybrid

Demand surges, especially in California, for no-cost hybrid option.

by on Jul.17, 2013

Lincoln underestimated demand for the hybrid version of its MKZ sedan.

Ford Motor Co. will more than double the production of the hybrid version of its Lincoln MKZ luxury sedan for the 2014 model-year, the maker says, reflecting an unexpected surge in demand for the high-mileage option.

After a slow start, the MKZ has been gaining traction in recent months, particularly in West Coast markets where domestic luxury brands have traditionally had trouble gaining momentum. Company officials credit the availability of the Lincoln hybrid as one of the factors in that sales growth.

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Calling the demand for the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid “compelling,” Ford global product czar Raj Nair noted that the gas-electric version of the luxury sedan has a “turn rate,” the time it actually sites on a dealer lot, of barely 12 days nationally, and just 10 days in Los Angeles.

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Small Car and Hybrid Sales Struggle – Yet a Few Models Exceed Expectations

Toyota Prius, Lincoln MKZ are the rare, hot hybrids.

by on Mar.29, 2011

Demand for the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid has significantly exceeded expectations.

With fuel prices nudging $4 a gallon again, the first time that has happened since the energy crisis of mid-2008, industry observers had been anticipating a sharp run-up in small car and hybrid sales.

With rare exception, it isn’t happening.  Indeed, demand for pickups and big SUVs soared during February, even fuel prices made a rapid run-up.  That follows a modest decline in the fuel economy of the average vehicle sold in the U.S. last year.

But there are a few bright spots for those hoping to see Americans embrace more fuel efficient products.

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The Toyota Prius experienced a 47% surge in demand during the first two months of 2011, and indications are that this sales boom has continued in March.  The other exception is the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, the first gasoline-electric model offered by Ford Motor Co.’s luxury marque, which is handily outselling the automaker’s most optimistic expectations.

Nearly one in four of the MKZ sedans sold so far this year have come equipped with a battery-electric driveline, 762 hybrids out of the 3,343 MKZ models so far sold.

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