Anyone hoping September's flatlining of US green-car sales was an aberration will be disappointed. October's numbers are in and they're not much better. With gas prices working their way down from their summertime highs, Americans continued to show tempered enthusiasm for hybrids, plug-ins and diesels, as October green-car sales rose just 4.3 percent from a year earlier to 48,191 units. While plug-in vehicle sales rose 29 percent compared to October 2012, year-to-date plug-in numbers had been up 77 percent this year, through September, signaling that battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles weren't immune to the slowdown.

As usual, the two automakers that set the tone were Toyota and General Motors.

As usual, the two automakers that set the tone for October were Toyota and General Motors. The four Toyota Prius variants combined to move 15,623 vehicles, down 6.9 percent from a year earlier. While Prius Plug-in Hybrid sales rose 11 percent, the other three variants were all down from October 2012, while Lexus hybrid sales fell 7.5 percent. Despite 1,398 units sold of the new Toyota Avalon Hybrid, total Toyota green-car sales fell 1.3 percent from a year earlier to 23,762 units.

GM was even harder hit, as sales of the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in plunged 32 percent from a year earlier to 2,022 units. Additionally, the 510 units sold of the new Chevrolet Cruze Diesel and the 87 Chevrolet Spark EVs sold were more than offset by plunges in demand for GM mild hybrids such as the Buick LaCrosse, Buick Regal and Chevrolet Malibu eAssist vehicles. Overall, GM's green-car sales dropped 26 percent from a year earlier to 4,232 vehicles.

Volkswagen didn't do much better, as VW diesel sales fell 17 percent from a year earlier. VW green-car sales declined 9.3 percent as the German automaker sold 666 Jetta Hybrids last month.

All these declines offset gains from Ford, Nissan and Honda.

Such declines offset the gains from Ford, Nissan and Honda. While Ford's green-car growth slowed from previous months, its sales were still up 48 percent from a year earlier to 7,026 units. Notably, the C-Max and Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrids each had a record sales months with 1,092 and 1,087 units sold, respectively, while Fusion Hybrid sales were more than doubled at 2,577 vehicles. Those gains were a bit of bright news in the face of a 53 percent drop in C-Max Hybrid sales. Ford, always ready to take a pot shot at Toyota, sent out a release (available below) saying its two plug-in vehicles outsold Toyota's single plug-in hybrid, the Prius Plug In Hybrid.

Nissan also came up big last month, as sales of its battery-electric Leaf jumped 27 percent from a year earlier to 2,002 units. And Honda erased its year-over-year sales lag from earlier in the year by doubling October green-car sales to 2,217 units. Such numbers, bolstered by a near-doubling of Insight sales and a more-than-doubling of Civic Hybrid demand, should continue to improve since November will mark the first full month of Accord Hybrid sales.

Year-to-date, US green car sales for 2013 are still up 22 percent compared to 2012 to this point, hitting more than 545,000 units all told. Year-to-date plug-in vehicle sales have surged 68 percent to more than 62,000 units, not including the Tesla Model S, which we only find out about every three months, Thankfully, today is one of those days.

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Ford C-MAX Energi, Fusion Energi Overtake Toyota in Plug-In Hybrid Sales

Ford C-MAX Energi and Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid vehicles deliver best sales month ever, outpacing sales of the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle

Sales of Ford plug-in hybrid vehicles in October shatter previous record by 45 percent

Ford catapults from zero market share to 34 percent in 13 months in the plug-in hybrid vehicle market

Ford Motor Company took over the No. 1 spot in plug-in hybrid vehicle sales of the Ford Fusion Energi and Ford C-MAX Energi in October, outpacing sales of the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle.

Ford sold 2,179 Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi vehicles last month, accounting for 34 percent of the total plug-in hybrid market. Toyota sold 2,095 units of its Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle.

It is Ford's best month ever for plug-in hybrid sales, shattering the previous record of 1,508 vehicles sold in September, a 45 percent increase. Ford's plug-in hybrid vehicles – Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi – hit this sales milestone just one year after introduction of C-MAX Energi and less than a year since launch of Fusion Energi.

Plug-in hybrid sales are beginning to gain traction in some key growth markets for Ford across the United States.

California continues to account for 38 percent of all Ford plug-in hybrid vehicle sales, but plug-ins 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.

Fusion Energi sales in October doubled in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. from the previous month.

Plug-in hybrid sales for the industry are up 32 percent year-to-date. The industry sold 39,083 vehicles through October, compared to 29,526 vehicles in 2012. October plug-in hybrid sales came within 40 units of setting an all-time monthly record for the segment.

Through September, aggregate data collected through MyFord® Mobile show Ford plug-in hybrids are being driven about 203,000 electric miles a day, enough to drive around the earth nearly eight times, or more than 8,400 electric-only miles an hour. These numbers are rapidly increasing as Ford continues investing in infrastructure while features exclusive to Ford plug-ins help improve driving habits.

Through MyFord Mobile and other features such as SmartGauge® with EcoGuide, data show how driving habits evolve and how electric-only miles rapidly accumulate. After six months of vehicle ownership, nearly 30 percent of all trips are taken gas-free, compared to about 20 percent at the beginning of ownership.
About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 180,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit corporate.ford.com.


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