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The Toyota Ford Hybrid War

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In the last ten years the elation over hybrid vehicles has taken on a new definition. Hybrids at their onset were the next big thing to hit the automobile market offering drivers a tangible asset in order to combat low fuel efficiency and high fuel cost. In more recent years the market has seen the sharp decline in hybrids and the ascension of all electric vehicles taking the main focus of optimal performance and an elevated sticker price. With all of that going on there is still a hybrid war being waged between two of the most affordable brands, Toyota and Ford. Believing that there is still a high demand for gas electric hybrids that won’t break the bank.

Toyota’s Prius Hybridhybrid

In 2005 Hurricane Katrina’s destructive power in the Gulf of Mexico hurled US oil prices into the clouds. With the sharp rise of fuel cost for the average US driver effectively transformed what consumers were willing to drive and continue to pay for. Toyota had only sold 54,000 before the hurricane hit. In less than a year the Toyota Prius sold 108,000 vehicles and by mid 2006 more than 180,000 vehicles had been sold. Since 2006 high point in sales the number has dwindled down and leveled off to about 140,000 units sold per year. The company is one of the more premier vehicle manufacturers of hybrid technology that has been designed for selling to the mass market. The Toyota Prius hybrid has been consistently outselling every other hybrid for sale in its class moving more than 100,000 units each year. The company continues to bank on the continual success of the Prius hybrid and has redesigned the car to better fit the needs of their consumers offering a more sleek body and extra cabin space. The Prius Hybrid also offers consumers one thing none of the competition has been able to achieve at the same price point; 50 miles per gallon.

Ford’s Hybrid Models

Ford has taken a giant leap in hybrid technology by converting some of its best selling models into a hybrid lineup. One of the first vehicles that was introduced into the hybrid market after the hurricane in 2005 was the Ford Escape Hybrid which offered customers the ability to enjoy a four wheel drive vehicle with all the room of a small SUV and the better fuel economy of a hybrid car. However because of the SUV’s weight overall performance was suited more towards city travel than highway travel. Ford was quite successful with the Escape hybrid which helped the company to invest in other models, first by testing their selling potential as all gas fueled engines before converting them to hybrid cars. One of the more current best sellers for Ford is the Fusion Hybrid. The car offers its customers the luxury of a bestselling midsize sedan with the availability of a hybrid drive train. Ford has been banking on the cost factor of its hybrids that tend to average 30 miles per gallon instead of the 50 mile per gallon Prius, yet offer the market more options. The theory that Ford has been investing in has proven to be true in their sales numbers. Ford believes that more people will settle for 30 miles per gallon if they can still enjoy the SUVs and the cars that they have come to love over the last few years.

The Next round of Fuel Efficient Hybridshybrid 2

The next round of fuel efficient hybrids going on sale in 2015 will offer consumers the ability to achieve even better fuel economy while remaining relatively in the same cost as previous hybrid models. Ford is offering up a new hybrid version of Fiesta which is rumored to achieve 43 miles per gallon and being propelled by a 1.0 liter engine. There is also rumor that Toyota plans to redesign the current generation of Prius hybrids that may get as high as 56 miles per gallon. Both companies have shown that they will continue producing hybrid vehicles that are more affordable than the all electric cars that other car manufacturers have continued producing. Ford and Toyota have been looking to the future of hybrid sales by reinventing the car with technology that allows the vehicles to gain more mileage per gallon of fuel spent.

There is currently no clear winner when it comes to understanding the outcome of the current hybrid war. What is clear is that both Toyota and Ford believe there is still a place in the market for hybrid technology and will continue to produce even when other manufacturers have ceased to produce hybrid vehicles. In either case the only real winner in this hybrid war is the consumers, whom gain to benefit from the ongoing competition between both companies which are producing a better product with each new vehicle generation.


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