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Ford Motor Company announced yesterday that sales of its hybrid SUVs rose 50 percent year-over-year in April to 2,800 units, largely on the backs of sizeable incentive initiatives.

The numbers indicate a 75 percent increase over March, which would appear to indicate that Ford is gaining some traction thanks to the zero-percent 60-month loans on its Escape and Mercury Mariner hybrids, as well as the ramping up the ‘Kermit Factor’ (read: spending more $$$ on advertising).

Ford also attributes government tax benefits and increasing gas prices for the demand uptick.

[Source: Reuters via Planet Ark; Autos.163]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      Besides, Chris, nobody is trying to talk you out of your Malibu. It also makes little difference whether I included sales tax in the equation, the hybrid Escape is still cheaper.

      What's important to note here is that if somebody is in the market for a Ford Escape or Mercury Mariner, it would be less expensive for them to opt for the Hybrid model over the conventional. This is a major accomplishment! Ford may be the first auto company to actually make a hybrid that costs less than the conventional counterpart.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Chris said: "THANKS! I'll keep my 2005 Chevy Malibu that gets 36 MPG on the highway, where I travel, and 26 in the city."

      You can't even get your own facts straight. So is it 26 OR 36 in the CITY? Idiot.
      • 9 Years Ago
      With federal tax credit of $2600 and 0% APR, that's $415 a month for a FWD version bought at MSRP, $404 monthly payment for 3% above invoice.

      That's a good price for people who want an SUV. Assuming 6.5% APR and no tax credit, the same vehicle would cost $539 a month. 8.5% APR, $565 a month. So people are saving from $135 to $161 a month, more than enough to buy fuel for the car.

      The non-hybrid Escape in the most popular model, the XLT automatic with V6, with Ford rebates of $2000 cash back and $1000 bonus cash, would have monthly payments of $411 at 6.5% APR or $431 at 8.5% APR. On top of that, obviously, would be the higher monthly fuel costs.

      For once, the Hybrid version of the same car is less expensive than the non-hybrid.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Word of the tax credit might be spreading. It is substantial, pretty much eliminating the cost disadvantage of a hybrid. I include these credits in the price comparisons on my site.


      My review of the Escape Hybrid: http://www.epinions.com/content_198884363908
      • 9 Years Ago
      Unless you're buying a Viper or a Vette, who pays even 80% of sticker for a domestic?

      People don't buy domestics without huge incentive packages. Other than the rabid Fordophiles, the Escape is not exactly gonna steal customers away from the other products in that segment.

      There are inherent problem with sales, coupons, and rebates. If overused (like by the domestics) you dilute your brand image, by constantly reminding customers how overpriced the product is. You also teach people not to buy your product unless there's a rebate, because if there's always another sale just around the corner, you are a chump to buy using sticker as a basis.
      • 9 Years Ago
      hmmm, so you AVERAGE 30.4, but you get 36 MPG in the CITY? Right...you must have one of those rare Hybrid Malibu's :) Lying POS...get out of the forum.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Hybrid Credit according to http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/tax_hybrid.shtml

      Credit Amount
      $2,600* 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid 2WD
      $1,950* 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD
      $1,950* 2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid 4WD

      it's just a tax credit and will not lower your payment, and you won't recoup all the money, just a portion in relation to realized cash value. Plus, you can file for it next year!

      Even with the credit you're still spending the money I mentioned. I like my $260 Malibu payment, and like I said, I get 36 MPG in the city and my yearly insurance bill full coverage is $600.

      I put that extra saving compared to this Hybrid into a better more fullfilling lifestyle. It's my part as a CONSERVATIONIST!
      • 9 Years Ago
      Sales surge because of the ZERO percent APR, ZERO downpayment plus heavy incentives.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Psych101 ... where do you get those numbers?
      Edmunds says the TMV on a BASE FWD is $28,415. You get no immediate cash benefit from the tax Credit, you apply for that next year. You still have to add State Tax, and for most the average is 7%. That brings the total to $30,404. At 0% for 60 months, the payment is $506. Many people don't like 60 months, and at 48 months the most basic FWD Escape Hybrid cost $633. let's not forget we still have to pay the insurance co. and for fuel.

      NO DEAL!
      • 9 Years Ago
      Chris, edmunds.com lets you load up all options. Premium package selection includes many of the popular options, so edmunds is counting some of the options twice. Adjusting for this, TMV becomes $33,368. Still expensive. And no doubt grossly expensive compared to your Malibu payments. And see, there's the rub: for people who don't want an SUV, there are many more less-expensive options than the Escape Hybrid.

      I think, however, that Ford is getting the ball rolling in a good way. Americans do like them some SUVs, and hybridizing small cars and family sedans almost seems counter-intuitive in the face of this consumer preference for high-riding station wagons. I dislike admitting it, but Ford is actually doing this the smart way by addressing the most pressing preference first.
      • 9 Years Ago
      this is TOTALLY opposite of the Epoch Times: http://www.daikynguyen.com/eet/print_archive/united_states/los_angeles/2006/04-Apr/28/05_EET.pdf

      don't EVER believe what you read
      • 9 Years Ago
      #4, you are soooo logical. Hybrids hardly measure up in terms of pure dollars and cents. Fact is most of the people who buy the most logical and efficent cars would look at Autoblog as much as they would look at a toasterblog. Hybrids are another experession of personality much the way the Magnum RT is for me. I like the growel of the Hemi and they like, I suppost, the woosh of the electrical motor.
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