J Mays, vice president of design at Ford Motor Corporation, said that their hybrid cars are flying off the shelves in California. He also added that the US hybrid market is growing as a whole, slowly, but steadily. Looks like Americans are finally warming up to hybrids.
In an interview with Inhabitat, J Mays says that “…our hybrids are flying off the shelves in California,” which has helped Ford far exceed sales goals for its hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. Sales in import-dominated areas like San Francisco are up 325%, and in the L.A. area hybrid sales are up a staggering 500%.
Even though hybrid cars have been around for many years, and mainstream hybrid production goes even as far back as 2001 (2002 Toyota Prius), Americans have been slow to adopt hybrids. For the past few years, hybrids have never made up more than 2% or 3% of the car market. However, the hybrid market has grown to 4% of the total car market so far in 2013, and shows signs of strengthening. With more hybrid car options available than ever before, hybrids are no longer a “niche” product.
Hybrids are still a fairly small slice of the new car market, but they are certainly on the track to becoming mainstream. Hybrid vehicles vary from compact cars, to SUVs, and even trucks now, able to better fill the needs of potential customers.
California is one of the largest markets for green cars in the entire country, and domestic cars have not done so well there in the past few years. But California is in large part responsbile for driving the surge in hybrid sales, allowing Ford to sell over 38,000 hybrids so far in 2013. These new sales are mostly coming from other brands too, thanks to aggressive marketing and new products like the (supposedly) 47 mpg Ford Fusion Hybrid and C-Max Hybrid and plug-in hybrid Energi models.
Ford seems to be biting off a fair chunk of the hybrid car market, though Toyota is still the undisputed king of hybrid cars. But with Ford hybrid sales taking off at a staggering rate, could there be a usurper on the horizon?