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Auto blogWed, 31 Jul 2013 15:31:00 EST
In an apparent shot back at Ford's increasing market share of electrified vehicles and claim that it accepts more Prius trade-ins for its own hybrids than any other car, Toyota has flexed a muscle and played the numbers game to put the Blue Oval in its place.
Leaning on its hybrid market dominance in California, the Japanese automaker stated that six out of 10 hybrids sold in the Golden State are Toyota models. And it keeps coming: Year-to-date through May 2013, Toyota sold five times more hybrids than Ford. One of every two hybrids in California is a Prius model. In addition, Toyota notes that it has sold 1.5 million Prius vehicles in the US, 90-percent of which are still on the road today.
Want more? We'll let Bill Fay, Toyota's group vice president and general manager of sales lay the smack down:
Okay, okay, okay, so I was just a smidge wrong. Those that read my review of the Ford Fiesta with the new 1.0-liter, EcoBoost engine will know that while I really enjoyed the torquey little three-cylinder, I was concerned that Ford's decision to force 1.0-liter owners into a manual transmission, steel wheels and one trim level might hurt sales of the new engine. I was also concerned that the promised 45-mile-per-gallon highway rating wouldn't be enough to tempt buyers into trying an engine that's so far outside of what the general public is use to. My concerns, though, seem to have been for naught.
While not doing a booming business on the triple-equipped Fiesta, Ford is seeing a take rate of four to eight percent per month in the engine's first few months on sale. Now, four to eight percent might not sound like a lot - if, like last year, the Fiesta sells around 71,000 units, there'd be barely 5,600 1.0-liter models on the road. It is also small potatoes relative to the take rate on EcoBoost-equipped vehicles across the Ford range, which US sales analyst Erich Merkle estimates to be roughly 35 to 40 percent of retail sales. Still, according to The Detroit News, the 1.0-liter is getting adopted at roughly the same rate as the sparkling Fiesta ST, which should be a solid indication of just how well this little engine is doing.
The 1.0-liter's success "really speaks volumes, not just to what we're doing with the Fiesta, but with EcoBoost in general," Merkle told Autoblog.
It was only a matter of time before law enforcement agencies would realize the potential of driver-assist technology for use in their Ford Police Interceptors, and, now that they have, those back-up cameras and radar systems won't be used just for parking, but for security, as well.
The surveillance mode system works when the camera or radar detects movement from behind the vehicle, and if it does when it's activated, an alarm will alert the officer inside the car, the driver's side window will roll up and the doors will lock, protecting the officer from an unwanted intrusion. The officer, of course, has the option to turn surveillance mode off, mainly in urban areas where pedestrians would constantly set the alarm off, and it can only be activated when the police car is in park.
Randy Freiburger, Ford's police and ambulance fleet supervisor, came up with the patent-pending idea when researching the needs of police officers and riding along with them, during which time he realized officers would be safer with an extra set of eyes watching the area behind their cars, especially at night or when they're completing paperwork, using the in-car computer or handling a radar gun. "Unfortunately, there are people with bad intentions who sneak up on police officers," he says.