Ford Hybrid Vehicle Sales up 115 Percent
With gas prices on the minds of all drivers, hybrids are playing an increasing role in the marketplace, producing the best-ever monthly sales for Ford Motor Company's hybrid vehicles. Combined sales of the Ford Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid more than doubled over March, and increased 68 percent compared to April 2005 sales. Ford has had three months of hybrid sales increases, fueled by rising gas prices, company and government incentives, and increasing consumer awareness of the benefits of Ford's hybrid products. In February, Ford launched a new marketing campaign with Kermit the Frog, focusing on the environmental aspects of the Escape Hybrid. In March, Ford launched the tax hotline to help Ford and Mercury dealers stay current on government incentives available to their hybrid customers. On April 4, Ford introduced 0-percent financing for up to 60 months on the Escape Hybrid and Mariner Hybrid, to further enhance their economic value. Because of this fuel efficiency and clean emissions, governments are increasingly rewarding hybrid purchases. A new tax hotline keeps Ford dealers informed on the latest federal, state, and local tax credits available for the company's hybrid customers, which in some states can total as much as $5,925 in tax credits. Some states also offer hybrid drivers other perks, such as HOV lane access, free parking and insurance discounts. Ford Motor Company has committed to producing up to 250,000 hybrids a year globally by 2010. Ford has also committed to offering hybrid technology in at least eight vehicles, including: Ford Escape, Fusion, Five Hundred, and Edge; Mercury Mariner, Milan, Montego; and Lincoln MKX.