By Jonathan Welsh
Ford Motor Co. says it plans to triple production of its hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles — what the company collectively calls its electrified lineup.
The increase is to take place through 2013 and will include boosted production plans for the Ford C-Max hybrid and plug-in-hybrid minivans, which are to begin production next year. The announcement reflects renewed enthusiasm in the auto industry for the potential technical success and profitability of electric power in passenger cars.
“Customers have come to expect fuel efficiency with every new vehicle Ford delivers today, and now we are further differentiating our electrified vehicle lineup with something else people truly value – choice,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s group vice president of Marketing, Sales and Service. “Whether people want a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid or full battery electric vehicle, we have a family of vehicles for them to consider.”
Ford says it is adapting existing vehicles to electric power instead of making unique hybrid and electric models because it allows the company to field a broader range of cars more quickly.
Ford currently sells approximately 35,000 electrified vehicles a year, led by the Fusion Hybrid midsize sedan and Escape Hybrid small SUV. The company says it will ramp up production to more than 100,000 annually by 2013.