Ford pivots toward hybrids

So that owners can hum around town with the battery providing extra power, but have the easy refilling of the gas engine on trips.

So…with GM and Strabismus pivoting to their own charging network, rather than piggybacking on Tesla’s, and Ford pivoting to hybrids, weeks after committing to the Tesla charging standard…those are some big bites out of the potential number of cars charging up at Tesla chargers.


Plug in hybrids give the best of both worlds. Charge at home and either or on the road.

Ford also noted major losses–$30k+ for their EVs. Mostly due to major start up investment. But why sell more losers when others are more profitable.

Its also rumored that EV inventories are rising. Sales seem to be slower than anticipated.

And Ford pricing is well above GM Bolt pricing.

Price war anyone?


Inlaw just bought a new ICE Ford Explorer Platinum… Had traded off his F250 & 5th wheel for a motorhome, wanted something for day to day meandering… Looked under the hood, literally could not find the engine… gave up, closed the hood… At that level, it has all the gadget, leather seats, and later, after dark, we looked again, and there were more lit buttons on the steering wheel one to really confuse the driver until the learning curve is over… His DW had the manual out to explain what was going on as they came over from Carson City, here to the NorCal coast…

I imagine the hybrids will add more buttons, lights… Bit as we near the time where we need to replace our Civic with a hybrid, it would be nice to get back to Ford, will see how it develops…


he’ll want to make sure he never loses that manual, lol.

Automakers are over complicating vehicles. Which will lead to more maintenance/repair money for them down the road.

Any bare bones new(er) vehicles out there, or are they all like this ?
I was considering a new vehicle at the end of the year, now I’m not so sure I want to dive into ever more complicated and expensive to repair vehicles. May be time to look backwards in time, lol.

Looks like Tesla is winning it! Ford just capitulated. Not too long ago Sandy Munro said that Ford and VW were the two real contenders outside China.

The Captain


And GM planned to phase out the Bolt. It is their best seller. Now they are planning an update. Bolt is the low price leader at this time.

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We’re gifting our '07 Civic to a grandson, when he sorts out his DJ, so we have a bot of time yet, but we are/were headed to a Honda CRV hybrid, SIL is leasing one, so we know it fits me (6-2) and the garage, a bit snug on both, but if Ford comes out with a temptation, it might be worth a look, rent a car for a while if it is known to be on the way… We’re tight on overall length as I took part of the garage, back in the '70s, for a home level laundry room, don’t want to undo that, so we’ll adjust our choices as needed…

I really hate messing with dealers and the buying games… While working, we solved that by leasing, as we could use AT&T’s Corporate leasing folks to find us a vehicle… Now, long retired, that’s not an option, used worked for my F150, and the Civic, actually…

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One additional thing nice about my Tesla is that the manual is on the screen. And is searchable! Nothing to lose. It also automatically gets updated when new featured are added via OTA updates.

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When I bought a Dodge Dart I made sure to keep the manual. When I needed replacement spark plugs I checked the manual. The new new plugs didn’t fit. :frowning:

No, I didn’t make a mistake. The Venezuelan version had a V-8 made in Brazil instead of the lighter standard 6 cylinder engine but that was not noted in the manual. BTW, the extra weight kept breaking the front suspension until a Colombian mechanic told me that it was not necessary to replace the parts. Instead he strengthen the suspension with solder. That’s the kind of help you get from people from poorer countries that have to find ways to make ends meet!

The Captain

o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o

That was around the time my father died and I had to deal with the estate taxes. My lawyer called me one day and asked me, astonished, if I had sold the Finance ministry inspector a set of spark plugs. “Yes, I did, why do you ask?”

The estate included a lot of land in a nearby town. The only way to get it examined was to drive the inspector to the site. We had a most amicable chat during the drive and at one point the conversation turned to spark plugs. I had a boxful in the trunk that I could not use but the inspector could so he bought them. Why was my lawyer astonished? The normal way to do things is to bribe government officials. :joy: :joy: :joy: :joy: :joy:


Costco has a car buying service for members. I suspect Sam’s does also. Some other “services” offer a buying service.
You might check it out?


This seems like a desperation move for Ford. Plugin hybrid (PHEV) demand is moderating in China and mostly flat in Europe compared to continued strong increases in BEV sales in both regions. Globally, PHEVs will likely become a niche market segment at best. I don’t know of any analyst who believes PHEVs is the future of the automotive market.

IMO, Ford should be putting all its resources into making its electric F150 and MachE cheaper and easier to produce. They are technologically a generation or two behind Tesla and the better Chinese companies. Diverting resources to hybrids won’t help them catch up.

But it may be that they have no choice. The western OEMs have historically gotten a big chunk of their revenue from selling ICEs in China. That market is in the process of collapsing. It may be that Ford looking forward sees no alternative but to try a Hail-Mary with hybrids just to financially survive until 2030 if global EV adoption trends continue.

But the problem most harshly affects foreign automakers in China. Chinese companies have been faster to adopt EVs than foreign ones, so automakers from Europe, Japan, and the US will be most affected by this glut of vehicles. Sales from Chinese brands are flat year-over-year, but sales from US brands are down 12%. German and Korean brands are down 22%, and Japanese and French brands are down more than 40%. ICE car values plummet in China and it is the canary in the coal mine | Electrek

Market share of most foreign brands appears to be collapsing in China. Ford is nearly irrelevant in China now. Recently, Farley recast Ford’s Chinese op as being use to build for export, rather than for Chinese sale.


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With the notable exception of Tesla, who because of production efficiencies beyond the ability of any OEM can start a price war in China and still produce industry leading profit margins. The western OEMs got caught with their pants down when it came to electrics and now they are in the process of losing the world’s biggest single auto market. Losing the European market is not far behind if you look at the sales trends.

Export to where? Is Ford really betting that they can export Chinese-made Ford hybrids to Europe and the US? Who will buy them?

Exactly. Ford is much worse off today than 10 years ago when they envisioned a growing Chinese car market for their products. In a world trending increasingly electric, Ford and the rest of the Western OEMs are still years away from mass producing a profitable BEV.

This is a really scary time for the western OEMs. Look at how much debt companies like Ford and Toyota are carrying at a time when the industry is being disrupted. It is a fair question to ask whether any would be able to survive a global recession without bailouts.


It’s a fair question to ask even with bailouts. If the problem is a temporary capital one, then bailouts can definitely help. But if the problem is a mindset one, then the bailouts won’t help.

I think that some automakers are run by very smart and informed people, and they have a very good chance of making it. It’ll be a tough decade or so, but they will likely make it. Mercedes, Ford, VW, and maybe a few others have a decent chance. Toyota and Honda might make it because, in the Japanese way, if they truly set their mind to accomplishing something (like they did with “fuel efficiency” and “quality” beginning in the late 70s), they will accomplish it.

That’s a very good point. I would add another dimension to the problem: the mindset of American consumers. Big Three management definitely has a mindset problem. So do their domestic customers unfortunately. A lack of charging infrastructure, coupled with consumers who flat deny their use (and frankly, waste) of petroleum is a problem in any way, shape or form. We can’t even get our consumers to stop buying large trucks and large SUV’s that guzzle gas in favor of smaller more efficient cars and trucks, let alone ditch gasoline entirely.


To Shiny-land. Ford dropped the Edge in North America. The Lincoln Nautilus is a tarted up Edge, with fatter price and profit margin, but without the Edge, there isn’t enough volume to support building the Nautilus here. The Edge does continue in China, so, the new generation Nautilus is imported to Shiny-land from China. I expect that to be the pattern in the future: leveraging the existing factories and tooling in China, while US plants are closed and thousands laid off.

Ironically, I thought it would be GM that would continue to wave the flag and urge customers to “buy American”, while all their offerings are designed and built in China, but Ford may beat them to it.


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If Shiny-land has a sufficiently reactionary government in the next couple years, they may all get their wish, with regulations tilted in favor of huge trucks, and against smaller vehicles and EVs, to protect “jobs” (profits)


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I’m not sure that’s right. PHEV’s share has remained surprisingly durable at around 30% of EV’s. Jose Pontes tracks global EV sales for CleanTechnica, and here’s what he said about it when discussing end of year numbers for 2022:

Full electric vehicles (BEVs) ended the year growing faster than PHEVs — +57% year over year (YoY) versus +46% YoY. That allowed them to end the year with 72% of plugin EV sales, up 1 percentage point from the 71% of 2021 but still below the 74% of 2019. Interestingly, the EV sales breakdown between the two powertrains has been balancing between 69% and 74% since 2018, giving credit to those who say that PHEVs will still be around for a while.

That’s about 2.8 million PHEV’s sold in 2022. For 2023 YTD, PHEV sales are also 30% of global EV sales. There will be at least twice as many PHEV’s sold this year than Teslas.

For a while there with the Model 3 launch, it looked like PHEV’s were going to get entirely wiped out by BEV’s, but that ended up not happening. PHEV market share of the EV market wasn’t really dented by the Model Y juggernaut, and it might end up being a rather durable and non-trivial part of the auto market.

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Does anyone really believe PHEVs are the future of the automotive market? BEV sales in Europe and the US are increasing much faster than PHEV sales.

Ford (and the other OEMs) have to learn how to produce BEVs that are quality and cost competitive with Tesla and BYD. I don’t know how diverting resources to produce hybrids helps with that. I suspect that Ford made the calculation that it cannot compete with Tesla or the Chinese in BEVs in the near and mid future and so its best chance at remaining relevant is to transition to hybrids.

It smacks of desperation, similar to VW’s decision to use Chinese platforms and technology for its next generation of EVs.

Meanwhile, GM is now shipping its new electric Blazer SUV with a price hike so that it now costs more than the Model Y. Any predictions on how well it will do?

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No. And yes I see the desperation as well. The Big Three conceded the sedan/coupe market, making nearly only large vehicles that guzzle gas sold to people who don’t see climate change as something to worry about. Not only can the Big Three not make money on EV’s, they can’t make money on cars or anything that is not large. This does not bode well for any of them.