Ford hybrid unseats Prius variant

Toyota last month said it would be dropping the price of its Prius Plug-In hybrid by $2,000 for the more basic model, suggesting sales may not have been as the automaker wanted with this variant of the Prius.

One reason why sales might not quite be as hot as it hoped for despite having a nearly 7 percent increase in units sold compared to this time last year [PDF]? Ford looks to have eaten away a good chunk of its rival’s marketshare in plug-in hybrid specific vehicles, at least according to new sales figures from October.

Ford said combined sales of its C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrids amounted to 2,179 units out the door total, compared to 2,095 of the related Prius. The American auto company had its best sales ever for this type of green vehicle in the process, beating out September numbers of 1,508 cars sold by an impressive 45 percent increase.

image via Ford

Given all of this, what was likely most surprising to note is Ford didn’t even have a plug-in hybrid a little over a year ago, but now holds 34 percent market share in a space sandwiched between traditional hybrid models and electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf. Across the industry sales of this type of vehicle are up 32 percent year-to-date, with 39,083 vehicles through October, compared to 29,526 vehicles in 2012. October plug-in hybrid sales as well came within 40 units of setting an all-time monthly record for the segment.

Not shockingly California is the biggest market for the Energi offerings, accounting for 38 percent of all sales. Ford noted though things are “strengthening in the midwestern and eastern regions. New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia combine to make up 32 percent of the C-Max Energi market. Those same cities make up 34 percent of the market for Fusion Energi. New York alone comes close to unseating San Francisco as the second most popular market for Fusion Energi” as well.

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling