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Despite Shaky Sales, Hybrids Here To Stay

Toyota is expanding its hybrid Prius line to include both bigger and smaller models.  The new Prius V was designed for greater storage space in its larger rear hatch, and the soon-to-arrive Prius C will be a smaller version for city drivers.  There is a trend in the hybrid market towards providing more options for potential customers.  For instance, in 2009 there were 17 hybrid models on the market, and at the start of 2011 there were 30. But these expansions come in the hope of securing a larger market, rather than in response to an already present demand.  “When you look at sales, you have to say that hybrids have not been accepted,” said Scott Doggett, associate editor of Edmunds’ AutoObserver.com.  The hybrid market peaked in 2009 at 2.8% of … Read entire article »

Filed under: marketing

Ford And Toyota Sign MOU On Development Of Hybrid System

It was announced on Monday that Ford and Toyota have signed a memorandum of understanding, MOU, on their combining forces to develop a new hybrid system which will be used in bigger vehicles such as full sized pickup trucks and SUVs. This news may seem a little puzzling as both companies have had success with their own hybrid vehicles, the Ford Fusion, and the Toyota Prius, both of which are way more fuel efficient than even the F-150 which is considered to be the most fuel efficient as well as one of the best selling trucks in America. However, the Ford group vice president of Global Product Development said of the decision, “This agreement brings together the capability of two global leaders in hybrid vehicles and hybrid technology to develop a better … Read entire article »

Filed under: business

Ford Announces Plans For Future

CEO Alan Mulally said at the conclusion of a three hour investor day presentation on Tuesday that Ford, the automaker, has “the foundation now to serve a much wider range of customers worldwide,” as it turns its focus from the United States turnaround to international growth. The idea of Ford moving to a global focus has been around for a while, but on Tuesday, Ford stated that it wanted to increase its worldwide sales by about 50 per cent to about eight million vehicles, which is up around 2.7 million from 2010. Ford is expecting that by 2020, its sales will come 55 per cent from small vehicles, up from the 48 per cent level this year, as the trend to smaller vehicles continues because of  increased gas prices. It is … Read entire article »

Filed under: business

Small Cars Gain Popularity With High Gas Prices In U.S.

Consumers in the United States are shifting their focus onto smaller cars as a result of the high prices of gas. Nearly a quarter of the vehicles which were sold in the U.S. in the month of April were compact or subcompact cars. Ten years ago this figure was 1 in every 8 vehicles. Of the small cars which were bought in April 2010, one fifth were U.S. models. This year that number is 27 per cent, which is good news for car manufacturers in the U.S., and in particular General Motors and Ford, as they are focusing more on these smaller cars. The Ford Fiesta is the best selling subcompact this year in the U.S. while the Chevrolet Cruze is proving to be the compact car of choice in April, … Read entire article »

Filed under: business