• Sep 20th 2010 at 7:02PM
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2011 Ford Explorer Live Debut in Southern California – Click above for high-res image gallery

The last time we quoted Ford's vice president of global marketing, Jim Farley, he uttered something like, "You can't sell a hybrid in today's market." Those words poured from Farley's mouth as he spoke with Automotive News writer Jamie LaReau in a candid rooftop conversation that took place during the unveiling of the Lincoln MKZ hybrid. Farley suggested that hybrids, with inherently higher price tags than conventional vehicles, would represent nothing more than a minor fraction of the market for years to come. Now, Ford's VP offers up a different take on the same subject.

Farley's recent conversation with the Detroit News points to the possibility that buyers will be willing to spend more for increased fuel efficiency. This time around, Farley's words came out like this:
Consumers know tomorrow they could wake up and gas could be $4 a gallon. The uncertainty about fuel prices has changed the mindset of customers.
Farley wasn't talking hybrids. Instead, the focus had turned to Ford's plans to make Ecoboost engines the core powertrain across its model lineup. Apparently, Ford sees a substantial market for Ecoboost engines and believes that buyers will be willing to pay a premium for a mill that, though smaller and less powerful than other engines in the stable, offers increased fuel economy of about five miles per gallon. Here's the kicker: the Lincoln MKZ hybrid costs no more than its conventional sibling, whereas Ecoboost engines command a price premium.

Photos copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips / Alex Nunez / AOL

[Source: Hybrid Cars]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah, I think Ford got this message loud and clear. Because they have yet to offer an Ecoboost engine that has better mpg or is less powerful than other engines available.

      Right now, Ecoboost is all about MOAR POWER, there's no Eco to it at all. People have shown a propensity to pay more for more power in the past and Ecoboost is navigating that well-worn channel.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If American consumers want to buy American, who are you to tell us we cannot? I will support local businesses, and you can do the same. ∠°)

      • 5 Years Ago
      imagine if Ford then started to make energy efficient vehicles, say electric ones.. nah that's just crazy talk. I'm sure peak oil will go away any day now.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, Ford is planning to sell the Ford Focus Electric in a year or two. Their plan is to build them on the same line as the ICE Focus. Interesting idea, but not sure how they will actually implement that. Installing batteries and motors is vastly different than dropping in an ICE and tank & exhaust. So I figure they will do something similar to the Ranger EV, build gliders, and then send them off to another facility to electrify them. That way the basic car is built on the same production line, but you just skip by the engine installation stations.
        • 5 Years Ago
        but one disingenuous token car sometime in the future is nowhere near enough.

        and I imagine with a bit of thought the electric parts can fit where the ICE and all its junk used to be in a car designed for ICE.
      • 5 Years Ago
      btw selling out to a planet killer car, that is indeed a dirty job. good call Mike Rowe.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh this guy is observant. "Things have changed, now folks are actually thinking about buying a vehicle that gets 5 mpg better than their last vehicle." Is he serious? I like the difference between 30 mpg and a 130 mpge. Thats is thinking ahead! As the commercial says, "stop thinkin with your dipstick, Farley! Shwap!" Chelsea Sexton says baby steps but these car dealer and manufacturers would have us get down and sizzle and squirm like a piece of bacon making no progress.

      5mpg improvement! Lol. On 15 gallons I could go 75 more miles. 60 dollars to go 600 miles instead of 525 miles or instead use 4 gallon equivalent of electrons to go over 500 miles. The efficiency is well worth the wait on a road trip, in town I never have to wait for a charge. 60 dollars in gas versus, 14 dollars tops for electrons to go the same distance.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Gee, that would be a huge understatement if we're talking about ABG readers..

      I for one solute Ford for making honest forward thinking moves lately. Between them and Hyundai... these seem to be the two major players in developing more efficient engines lately. It doesn't seem like they're gaming the CAFE system.
      • 5 Years Ago
      @Dan Frederiksen 2:59AM (9/21/2010)

      Dan, I for one am glad you are saving all that gasoline. That leaves more for me (and my 412 horsepower 2011 Mustang GT Convertible).

        • 5 Years Ago
        well, you going to hell leaves more place in heaven for others. see how that works : )

        this can help you understand what electric drive can do
        forget that sad devotion to the primitive stang. electric is much better. and that's only a 250HP setup. Ian Wright is allegedly coming out with a 1000 pony electric drivetrain. it will easily eat veyrons and the blue collar stang will look like its standing still.
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