Ford C-Max Sales Have Perpetually Declined In America

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
ford c max sales have perpetually declined in america

Following Ford’s announcement that production of the Focus and C-Max would leave Wayne, Michigan in the next few years, sales personnel at Ford dealers across America were heard asking their managers, “We still sell the C-Max?”

No, that’s not entirely true. Ford is moving Focus and C-Max production out of Wayne by 2018, but we weren’t privy to the conversations inside Ford showrooms. That question may or may not have been asked.

Through the first-half of this year, Ford’s U.S. dealers only sold an average of four C-Max Hybrids and C-Max Energis per dealer per month.

The C-Max did get to off to a hot start back at the end of 2012. There was plenty of talk about the C-Max’s ability to outsell the Toyota Prius. No, not the Prius you know best, but rather the Prius V, which isn’t nearly as popular as the regular Prius.

During the final quarter of the year, Ford sold 12,340 copies of the C-Max in the United States; twice topping the 4K mark. ( Ford hasn’t topped 3800 since, didn’t top 3,501 in 2014, and hasn’t managed 2,700 monthly sales in 2015’s first six months.)

But by the end of its first year, the C-Max was already struggling to find more than 3,000 buyers per month. Other than the September 2013 improvement, when the year-over-year comparison took into account the C-Max’s launch month of September 2012, and two other occasions last summer, C-Max sales have always declined on a year-over-year basis.

Thus, while never truly popular, the C-Max has become increasingly unpopular in America. The reasons? It’s difficult to challenge a segment owner like the Prius. The second-generation Honda Insight can attest to that fact. Ford also flubbed the fuel efficiency marketing hype and later paid the price. Even before its efficiency downgrade, the C-Max wasn’t alleged to be quite as economical as its Toyota rivals.

Timothy Cain is the founder of, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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  • Conslaw Conslaw on Jul 16, 2015

    Here's the message: the C-Max gets around 40 MPG and it isn't boring to drive. Get the SE with the 203A package (Myfordtouch and more) and the winter package (heated seats) and you'll have a car with plenty of toys to keep you busy, and you can have fun playing MPG games when you aren't in a hurry. When you are in a hurry, the C-Max is an 8-second 0-60 car, which is a little better than average for all cars and is the cheapest hybrid that is this quick. Right now, with incentives, they cost less than cars that aren't as roomy or as interesting.

  • Seanx37 Seanx37 on Jul 17, 2015

    I think a big part of the problem is that the C Max is at the very bottom of every list of reliability. And electric cars are crap in any place where it gets cold in the winter.

    • Conslaw Conslaw on Jul 17, 2015

      My MPG went down about 15% in the winter, but my conventional cars' went down almost as much. You notice a 6 MPG drop in a 44 MPG car more than you notice a 2 mpg drop in a 16 MPG car, but the actual additional cost of gas is higher in the 16 MPG car.

  • Oberkanone Installing immobilizer is the answer. It's not hard. It's not expensive.
  • MrIcky Out of the possible Jeep recalls to bring up on this site, I'm surprised it's this one and not round 2 of the clutch recall.
  • Dukeisduke I saw a well-preserved Mark VII LSC on the road not too long ago, and I had to do a double-take. They still have a presence. Back when these were new, a cousin of mine owned an LSC with the BMW turbo diesel.
  • Dukeisduke I imagine that stud was added during the design process for something, and someone further along the process forgot to delete it after it became unnecessary.
  • Analoggrotto Knew about it all along but only now did the risk analysis tilt against leaving it there.