Ford C-Max Sales Have Perpetually Declined In America

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

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 GoodCarBadCar.net, 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.

  • Akear When is Barra retiring?
  • AZFelix Fun duo who lived and worked in China for many years have a candid and crushing assessment on their EV manufacturing.
  • Vatchy Just think how many electric vehicles could be charged from a new nuclear power plant...
  • Arthur Dailey 'The capitalists will sell use the very rope that we use to hang them.' In our household we have cut down our shopping/spending and pay more to purchase products from 1st world nations or 2nd world nations that are our 'allies'. That also means quite often only buying and eating fruit and vegetables that are in season. Just like our parents and grandparents did.At least TTAC published an article on May 21st regarding LAN transformers that contravene the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act being used in some BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, and VW products?
  • ToolGuy I wouldn't buy any old Chinese brand of vehicle, but the right EV at the right price, maybe possibly yes. If you told me this would alarm Ford and torque off FreedMike, all the better. 😉P.S. I would *definitely* consider an EV made in Taiwan. Take that, paramount leader!P.P.S. China batteries/components to convert one of my ICE vehicles to EV? Yes.
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