Ford Motor Co. unveiled plans today for higher fuel efficiency across its 2010 lineup. The company said the new vehicle lineup will improve fuel economy by about 20 percent compared to 2005 levels.
“We are making fuel economy a reason to buy a Ford,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. The 2010 Ford lineup includes four hybrids—Ford Fusion Hybrid, Mercury Milan Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid, and Mercury Mariner Hybrid.
The push for fuel efficiency appears to be working as a strategy to earn new customers. According to Ford, approximately 54 percent of Fusion Hybrid buyers did not previously own Fords, and 66 percent of Fusion Hybrid owners are coming out of foreign vehicles. The Fusion and Milan hybrids, full-size sedans, have an EPA mileage rating of 41 mpg in the city.
Ford’s momentum is also based on improved quality ratings. A new survey on vehicle quality by RDA Group shows Ford with the fewest problems of any carmaker, including Toyota and Honda which usually rank on top for quality. “We’ve been tied with Toyota before, but it sure feels better to be on the top!” wrote Bennie Fowler, Ford’s global head of quality, in a memo to employees Friday.
Ford plans to continue its path toward greater efficiency by adding more hybrids, smaller engines using “EcoBoost,” and four plug-in cars. The company’s goal is to improve fuel economy by more than 35 percent by 2015 (compared to 2005 levels).
EcoBoost is Ford’s marketing term for adding turbocharging and direct fuel injection to smaller engines—as a relatively low-cost method for maintaining performance while delivering a 10 to 20 percent fuel economy improvement and 15 percent fewer CO2 emissions versus larger V-6 engines. Ford announced a new 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine to go on sale next year. By 2012, the company plans to produce 750,000 EcoBoost units annually in the US and 1.3 million globally. Ford set the goal of offering EcoBoost in 90 percent of its product lineup by 2013. For 2010, EcoBoost options will be available in the Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT.
The company is also committing to at least four new electrified vehicles on the road in the US by 2012, including a full battery electric vehicle, a plug-in hybrid, and new conventional hybrids.