2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ford unveiled its newest hybrid offering, the 2011 Lincoln MKZ hybrid at the New York Auto Show. For Ford, the vehicle will become the company's first luxury hybrid product in a segment dominated by the Lexus brand. Dominated is a relative term here, as luxury hybrid vehicles have had a difficult time capturing any significant sales volumes. For example, the top-selling luxury hybrid on the market, the Lexus HS 250h, has managed just 8,658 total sales since its introduction in August of 2009. So, what can Ford expect of the sales volume of the Lincoln MKZ hybrid?

If past trends are any indication, and they usually are, the MKZ hybrid will be a low-volume seller at best. As Ward's Auto pointed out, past data shows that luxury hybrids typically account for no more than 25 percent of total sales of a particular model. For example, the Cadillac Escalade hybrid accounted for 23.2 percent of all Escalade sales. The Lexus RX 400h and 450h hybrids accounted for 14.5 percent of all RX sales. No other Lexus hybrid, save for the HS 250h, accounted for more than 10 percent of the models total sales volume.

So where will the MKZ hybrid stand? Initial analysis shows that the MKZ should generate 27,000 sales per year. If hybrids account for 15 percent of all deliveries, the MKZ hybrid total sales will ring in at 4,000 units per year, not much and not a significant player in the Ford lineup of vehicles, but it looks like it could be a great vehicle nonetheless.

[Source: Ward's Auto]

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