Ford is closing in on its Japanese rivals in the hybrid sales race. So far in 2009 the American automaker has posted a 73 percent gain in its hybrid sales with a total of 26,016 vehicles sold. That number is roughly 4,000 short of Honda’s total hybrid sales at 29,958 units, but the percentage of gain should have the Japanese automakers worried. Honda, a distant second to segment leader Toyota, has managed only 8 percent growth so far this year.
Toyota’s hybrid sales this year in the U.S. total 144,351 units, although sales of the Prius are down 19.4 percent. The Pirus is still the top hybrid model, followed by Toyota’s Camry Hybrid, the Honda Insight and Civic Hybrid and then the ford Fusion and Escape hybrids.
Much of Ford’s surge can be attributed to the Fusion Hybrid, which uses technology similar to Toyota’s to deliver 41/36 mpg (city/highway). This two-mode hybrid technology is more advanced than the setup Honda is currently using.
Honda isn’t about to give up it’s second place spot, however, and has announced that the Insight will get improvements in fuel-economy and ride quality. Ford, however, is planning it’s own attack, with the 2010 Murcury Milan Hybrid due out soon, which should give Ford a slight increase in its overall hybrid sales numbers.