Hybrid Sedan for 2017 Could Be Even More Popular
Ford is talking tech for its new Fusion sedan for 2017, with features like hands-free automatic parking and a pedestrian detection system. Ford fleet specialists see the opportunity to increase the car’s market share even more.
“We’ve polished up one of the jewels of our crown,” says fleet sustainability and advanced technology manager Jon Coleman. “The hybrid has been very popular with fleets and we expect making big improvements for 2017,” he told F&F.
The Ford Fusion, he says, “delivers on the duty cycle for a lot of fleets” – both government and corporate. “There’s a really good chance that whosever’s selling something is driving a Fusion,” he says.
7,000 Hybrids to Fleets Per Year
Asked for detail, Coleman said in an email, “Since introducing the new body style in 2013, we have consistently been selling over 40,000 Fusions to commercial and government sectors (excludes rental).
“Of those, we have been averaging approximately 7,000 hybrids.
“For context, that exceeds Toyota Prius sales in those same sectors for each year 2013, 2014 and 2015 and on average by more than 1,000 per year.”
More Choice than Honda or Toyota
Ford notes in its 2017 Fusion announcement that neither Toyota nor Honda offers the choice of straight gasoline car, hybrid or plug-in hybrid for the same mid-size sedan.
The Fusion Energi plug-in will ship with a 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery for an expected range of 19 miles using electric power only. The car automatically switches to its efficient 2.0-liter gasoline engine when the battery is depleted, allowing customers to drive more than 500 miles.
The order book for the 2017 Fusion for fleets opened last week.
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Source: Ford with Fleets & Fuels follow-up