By on July 18, 2013

All-New 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

When the Lincoln MKZ was introduced, Ford Motor Co. took the unusual step of pricing the MKZ Hybrid the same as the non-hybrid version of the car, $35,925. Assuming that would mean a good take rate for the Hybrid, Ford production planners for the 2013 model year set the mix at 20% for the gas-electric MKZ. The take rate turned out to be so good that for 2014, 40% of MKZs made will be hybrids. That’s what Raj Nair, Ford’s group vice president of global product development, said at the automaker’s Dearborn campus on Tuesday. Hybrid sales in the U.S. market overall are up 18.3% for the first six months of this year, compared to 2012, and Ford has been benefiting from that surge. Ford’s share of the hybrid and EV market is now close to 16%, a huge improvement of 12% over last year. The C-Max, Fusion and MKZ hybrids have given the company a strong presence in the hybrid market. Ford attributes part of it’s overall U.S. market share increase of almost 1% over 2012 to electrified vehicle growth. For the first six months of 2013, Lincoln sold 3,090 MKZ Hybrid models, an average of 515 cars a month, but now that production delays that hampered the revised MKZ’s launch have apparently been overcome, for the 2nd quarter sales exceeded 715 units each month, closely matching the current build rate at Ford’s Hermosillo, Mexico assembly plant.

Source: The Detroit News

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

39 Comments on “Increased Sales Prompt Ford to Double MKZ Hybrid Production to 40% of Total for 2014...”


  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Is this really a case of Ford increasing the hybrid’s production, or is it that they’ve abandoned half of their projected sales for the conventionally powered car?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The DetNews article doesn’t say that the new MKZ product mix will be 40% hybrid. It just says they will double MKZ hybrid production. The TTAC Staff summation of the DetNews article makes it even more confusing with its lack of paragraphs.

      Based on what I’ve read, the gas powered MKZ isn’t selling nearly as well as Ford hoped, but the hybrid is doing better than expected. Its a no cost option that is a better option for many people, like Florida and Arizona retirees who used to work for Ford.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        The DetNews article says:

        ‘Forty percent of MKZ production will be dedicated to building the hybrid model, said Raj Nair, Ford’s group vice president of global product development, at the automaker’s Dearborn campus on Tuesday’

        That kind of sounds like the 2014 MKZ will have 40% hybrid mix to me…not sure what you read.

        To CJ’s point, its highly doubtful that this is incremental MKZ growth but rather a reallocation of the mix of production.

  • avatar
    Syke

    MKZ hybrid costs the same as the gas-only MKZ? OK, why isn’t the take rate on the hybrid at 80% or higher?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Excellent point. I’d be interested to hear on the gas version what the V6 order rate is over the I4… its the only sense I could make the hybrid rate not being so much higher.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Part of it may be that the 2.0T has a better lease payment than the hybrid. Ford didn’t push hybrid leases until 2013 models. When I bought my C-Max, the salesman was happy about being able to finally lease Fusion Hybrids as well as the C-Max.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I’m curious, how much better?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            In the Detroit area, on a 24 month lease, the 2.0T is $50 cheaper a month than the hybrid ($329 vs $379 with $800 at signing). The 2.0T has $1000 more in incentives than the hybrid on either a lease or buy.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      Not sure what you two are rambling about…my take on this is quite simple.

      1st half of 2013:
      MKZ total sales=14,500
      MKZ hybrid sales= 3100

      That’s about 21%. That’s also the mix they built…you cannot sell what you have not built.

      There must be very obvious evidence that they hybrids are selling at a faster rate than non-hybrids justifying this change. Building cars isn’t like making a salad in a salad bar. Its not like they can just go to their supplier on a Tuesday and ask for twice the #’s components for a hybrid and change the mix by the next week.

      Production mix is an educated guess and changes to that mix are not done overnight.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        My local Lincoln dealer has 122 MKZs in stock, 64 of them being FWD hybrids. The other 58 include a mixture of four and six cylinder, FWD and AWD models. The dealer has a total of about 220 Lincolns of all varieties, and well over 25% of them are MKZ hybrids. Interestingly, they aren’t priced as highly as the Ford Fusion Energy models that made up half the model mix last time I looked at my local Ford dealer inventories.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          Fair points, my local Lincoln dealer has 21 in stock and only 2 are hybrid models with the rest evenly split between turbo and V6 models. The average is 20% hybrid but of course this will vary around the country.

        • 0 avatar
          sunridge place

          You are also in the land of hybrids-California. Not surprising.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            We are the land of the Prius and RX450h, but I’ve yet to see an MKZ or Fusion hybrid on the streets here. The CMax does very well for an American car. I probably see as many of them as I do CT200h’s.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            Jesus CJ…

            Do you think Ford/Lincoln is randomly doubling the mix of hybrid on this model after a drunken night in Mexico or do you think they have a reason?

            Stop with the ‘outside my window’ analysis.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I don’t think they’re doubling anything. I just think they’re keeping total production fairly static now that they’ve resolved their production issues instead of increasing total production at the same rate they’re increasing hybrid production. The local hybrids are only carrying $1,750 on the hood while the others are at $3,000 off. I’m guessing that speaks to less turn time nationally.

            I find it odd that my local BMW dealer has 96 BMW 3 series sedans in stock compared to the Lincoln store having 122 MKZs. Living here might make you think the BMW 328i is competing with the Camry and Prius for best seller. Lincoln MKZs are about as thick on the ground here as Mexican registered SEATs. How many of those 96 BMWs is a hybrid here in the land of hybrids(and BMWs)? One of them is a hybrid, out of 96. Somehow local BMW dealers are printing money with a model-mix like that.

            “Do you think Ford/Lincoln is randomly doubling the mix of hybrid on this model after a drunken night in Mexico or do you think they have a reason?”

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            CJ…

            You are going down a different path. This discussion was about the mix of hybrid within the MKZ production.

            Lincoln IS doubling the # of hybrids within their production mix…there is no doubt about that. They announced it.

            As an example, for 2013MY
            Total MKZ production= 80,000 units
            Total non-hybrid production= 64,000 units
            Total hybrid production=16,000 units

            For 2014MY, they plan to split it along the lines of:
            Non-hybrid=48,000 units
            Hybrid= 32,000 units

            Neither one of us said they were doubling the total # of MKZ’s being produced. This conversation isn’t about the Lincoln inventories in San Diego nor was the article we are commenting about.

            Other people here were commenting that the current take rate doesn’t make sense with this announcement…I was just stating why it might not.

    • 0 avatar
      catachanninja

      Some people still fear hybrids too, my girlfriends family recently went shopping for a cars with fuel economy as their primary concern. They came to me for advice and when I mentioned hybrids they frowned and said they don’t know how hybrids work. I could not break through thier fear

  • avatar
    whynot

    Some people may want AWD (not available with the hybrid) or cannot live with the slightly smaller trunk.

    Edit: whoops this was meant to be in reply to Syke.

  • avatar
    redliner

    This should shock absolutely no one. If you want a plush daily driver that gets a real world 40MPG you have exactly three choices. Toyota Avalon, Lexus ES300h (really those should count as one model) and Lincoln MKZ. Out of those options, the Lincoln is the best value, and it has higher EPA MPG ratings, for whatever that’s worth.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      I’m a Lincoln fan (own a 2008 MKZ) and really like the looks of the new one, but I’m also pretty dodgy on Hybrids, mainly because I tend to keep my cars for a long time, and battery life is my main concern. I’ve had to buy new batteries for every cell phone I’ve owned at about the 3-4 year mark. I don’t want to do that with a car. For my money, the upcoming Mazda 6 diesel in the highest trim level looks like a winner when it comes to fuel economy. I also think the new 6 is a real looker, and from what I’ve read it’s also a great handling car.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Saul, while there are reasons that are valid for avoiding hybrids, but battery life should not be one of them. Many of the first generation hybrids that are hitting the junkyards are doing so with mileage over 200K and original battery packs.

        • 0 avatar
          SaulTigh

          Just curious, but do they get as good of mileage at 200k as they did when those batteries were new? Without the battery packs, most Hybrids seem like they would be real dogs with just their gas engines.

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            The MKZ Hybrid really doesn’t get great mileage for a hybrid. CR got 34 mpg overall, EPA rating 45.

            That’s the worst CR performance of any hybrid relative to its claimed EPA rating.

            And it’s slow. It’s a CVT and Ford’s record with CVTs is checkered to say the least.

            So I guess Ford is pricing its value relative to its worth.

      • 0 avatar
        Chicago Dude

        Your cell phone and your laptop will allow you to charge the battery to 100% and discharge it all the way down to 0%. The rate of charge and discharge are almost entirely up to you and what you do with your device.

        Hybrid and pure electric vehicles don’t allow that to happen. That battery pack is absolutely babied in comparison to a laptop or cell phone and is never allowed to get anywhere near 100% or 0% charge.

        A lot of city bus operators have hybrid busses that are well past the 1,000,000 mile mark on their original battery packs. They absolutely love the hybrid busses and buy them any time they can get the budget room.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          redliner, I believe it’s hyperbole to call the MKZ “plush.”

          I’m a Gen Xer, but I think I have a fairly objective idea of what “plush” implies in terms of a passenger vehicle’s characteristics, and the MKZ misses the mark in terms of ride quality over anything other than road surfaces that are in great or very good condition (I’m curious to hear Derek’s feedback on this given he has had a MKZ press car for a week or so).

          To be fear to Lincoln, I don’t think of the Cadillac ATS as “plush,” nor do I think of the new Avalon as “plush.”

          I’ll even go further, and state that I have a hard time thinking of an entry level or ‘near luxury’ car that is truly plush, and that this includes anything from Acura, and in a departure from the past, Lexus (the new ES350 has a far less plush ride than the last gen ES).

          Oddly enough, given its original role in creating the sports sedan niche, the current BMW 3 series, being the now bloated pig of a vehicle that it is, and as far away from a true “sports sedan” as any of its ancestors, is probably as “plush” a vehicle in its class as any in terms of ride quality.

          A 1989 Nissan Maxima that was owned for nearly 16 years, and cherished by my uncle, had a more plush ride than the current MKZ.

          • 0 avatar
            AoLetsGo

            Don’t “fear” the Lincoln.
            BOC

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            DW:
            Even with the new ES350, it has a far more ‘plush’ ride than the MkZ. Hence why my mother purchased it over the Z. It didn’t help that she made the mistake of taking me to the dealer where I pointed out about 15 different quality issues with the Z’s trim.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Ao, it’s been a loooong week and hot as hell. But yeah, I meant to write “fair.”

            Tres, I hope I’m being fair to Lincoln, and that’s why I wanted to express my genuine opinion that the current Lexus ES is dramatically (IMO) less plush than the prior generation.

            It’s too bad that the truly plush vehicle that’s even remotely affordable is so rare today (though I suppose the Chrysler 300 is doing a decent job of holding up the fort).

            Not everyone (and maybe hardly anyone) lives in areas where the roads are all smooth as glass, resembling asphalt ribbons of winding spaghetti, nor does everyone want to feel most imperfections that now exist in our rutted, pockmarked, deteriorating roadways as they do their daily commute.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      What shocks me is that they originally projected such a low take rate considering they offer it at the same starting price. Lots of people looking for a plush car aren’t interested in having the fastest car on the block. The Hybrid promises instant savings on fuel with it’s 45MP combined vs 22 for the V6 or 26 for the turbo 4cyl. Even if it misses the rating and the others exceed it you will still have lower fuel costs if you can live with the HP and trunk room penalty.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Although ignored and misunderstood, the point of one of my earlier posts is that BMW dominates the $40-$50K range of So Cal(“Home Of Hybrids”) with compact sedans that only bow to fuel economy in that BMW is worried about their CAFE obligations. People that have broken free of the standard midsized class don’t care about fuel economy.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    My mind is still boggling that a Lincoln Hybrid sells that well. Who’d have thunk it? Disclosure: I have a weak spot for FOMOCO. Even had a Pinto with a racing stripe; a 4cyl Starsky and Hutch-mobile. Oh wait! 80% of my commute is on a arrow straight traffic light clogged highway. Now a Lincoln makes perfect sense.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      After I thought about it, it made sense. There is a number of older car buyers who, I think, have been interested in hybrids but up until now haven’t had much of a choice in what was offered. Enter Lincoln, now these former/current panther/Impala drivers have an alternative that will save them some money at the pump, something the panther/Impala wasn’t known for.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Actually, hybrids sell pretty well when it comes to mid/large FWD sedans.

      The Camry, Fusion, Sonata, Optima, ES, Avalon, MKZ, etc. – the hybrid variants all sell pretty well.

      However, when it comes to hybrid variants of RWD sedans, the story is much different (for example, Lexus only sells about 40 GS hybrids a month and even less of the LS hybrid).

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Latest issue CR states that the MKZ hybrid is the worst hybrid in terms of meeting advertised EPA ratings in its standardized testing.

  • avatar
    tjominy

    Increasing hybrid mix to 40% from 20% (as sunridge place calc’d above) sounds a lot like MKZ is dropping the V6 or will be repositioning the hybrid as the entry model. Combined with Raj Nair’s comments last month that the industry could be 2/3 4cyl in a few years, I see a lot of credence that the V6 is on borrowed time.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

  • Re: European Review: Peugeot 208 GTi

    Buckshot - The 208 GTI is from 229 000 SEK in Sweden Cooper S is from 215 000 SEK but in reality the Cooper will be more expensive with all its expensive options.
  • Re: Mitsubishi Motors: And Then There Were…

    notferris - Mike, First of all, I commend you on this in-depth piece. If you would allow, I would like to offer some additional information that you, and...
  • Re: Thank You And Goodbye (Sort Of)

    Stef Schrader - I feel as if I just read a group hug (in a good way). I do, however, need to chase these feelings of warm fuzziness up with some footage of explosions, and...
  • Re: Thank You And Goodbye (Sort Of)

    April - Accountability and Civility? Really? Allowing comments which include slurs and questioning others humanity is usually considered beyond the pale by polite society....
  • Re: Junkyard Find: 1959 DeSoto

    bill mcgee - It is hard to imagine the styling sensation that the 1957 Chrysler products were when they were first introduced . I recall at the time ,and I was possibly only...
  • Re: Report: Nissan Scraps Small Truck Plans, Navara Now On For North America

    DenverMike - @Lou_BC – The Tacoma regular cab is one of the fastest selling trucks on the planet, close behind the Tacoma...
  • Re: Reader Review: 2010 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen

    DeadWeight - Mazda isn’t 50% worse than Honda in this regard (maybe 25% worse, though), and while it’s often stated, tires do make a huge...
  • Re: Thank You And Goodbye (Sort Of)

    msquare - I am very happy to see you at Road & Track. I was wondering who would succeed Peter Egan and I think they found the right person. I came to the web (TTAC,...
  • Re: Thank You And Goodbye (Sort Of)

    MBella - Yeah, not cool Jack. Especially since I’ve never heard Ed say anything but good things about you.
  • Re: Reader Review: 2010 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen

    DeadWeight - TTAC hates Saab? I always had the impression that at least the B&B gave Saab credit for doing turbocharged petrol engines properly, and...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India