Ford's F-150 Guy Calls GM Hybrid Pickups, SUVs "A Publicity Stunt"
Ford truck marketing manager Doug Scott had a little chin wag with Automotive News [sub]. No surprise there, given that the Blue Oval Boyz have just unveiled the new F-150 ( recently reviewed on TTAC by our own JB). Nor are Scott’s opening comments about Ford’s full-size pickup startling in any way, shape or manner. Improved access to the bedside (via steps), rear-hinged doors gone because nobody gave a flip about the old version’s flip-out doors, yada yada yada. And then Dougie launches a salvo at The General’s plans to introduce a gas – electric full-size pickup, after the dismal failure of its hybrid full-size SUVs. “It is a publicity stunt,” Doug says, firing the first barrel. “It is no different than what you are seeing with their large SUVs,” he clarifies, loosing the second chamber. Reload. “They are not selling any Tahoe and Yukon hybrids.” Bang. “It’s about something to advertise.” Bang. And now, the knife… “In our case, we chose to have a democratization of technology like EcoBoost. Get more fuel efficiencies out there in mass and volume to as many people as you can, rather than focus all this energy on a very limited application that isn’t going to be really appealing to many people.” So much for that, then.
The Ecoboost system probably won't be as fuel efficient as the hybrid powertrains, but at least it probably won't command a $10,000 price increase. The price on Chevy and Dodge's hybrids will have to be $5000 or less over a similarly equipped vehicle for them to have any kind of marketing cachet. At $10,000 over their average V-8 truck, six miles per gallon fuel economy, it would take at least ten years to get back the extra price.
"Does this mean they’ll be killing the Escape hybrid? I’m sure they don’t want to seem hypocritical—just sayin’." factotum: No. Dude, don't you get it? The GM hybrid SUVs are not selling at all, they don't offer any real fuel savings, they have big, stupid decals on them, and they are extremely overpriced. Thus why they aren't selling any. The Escape hybrid looks just like a regular Escape, is just slightly more expensive than a Prius, and it actually offers real fuel savings. It gets MPG in the early to mid thirties in the city. That is around 12 or so MPG better than the regular Escape. So, in other words, the Escape Hybrid actually has a case. Thus why Ford is able to sell them. Sales aren't extremely high though, because as far as I know, Ford produces them in smaller numbers than the normal Escape.
You just contradicted yourself, "dude". Sales aren’t extremely high though, because as far as I know, Ford produces them in smaller numbers than the normal Escape. How is this different from GM's hybrids? As far as I'm concerned, neither Ford nor GM sell hybrids in "extremely high" numbers relative to Toyota. If Ford isn't committed to selling "extremely high" numbers of Escape hybrids, it, too, is a publicity stunt. That was my point. it actually offers real fuel savings. As do the 2-mode Tahoe/Yukon. And last I checked, the $10,000 premium is no more. Carsdirect is listing them at at least 6K under MSRP where when they were intro'd they were selling at MSRP.
The Escape hybrid is the second best selling non-Toyota hybrid vehicle in North America, hardly a stunt. It outsold all of GM's hyrbids combined by 2000% in April 2008 (the last figures I have handy) and weighs almost half of a what a Yukonho does. On the flip side, the 2-mode Tahoe/Yukon hybrid gets a whopping 2 extra MPG in real world mixed driving (see Consumer Reports article on same) and are not selling even in the thousands, premium or no. A greenwashing joke, as was correctly called by most.