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Ford wants 25% of models to be hybrids, plug-ins in China

At least in China, Ford is dreaming about the green. Ford wants to have as much as 25 percent of its models sold in China to be either hybrids or plug-in vehicles by the end of the decade, says Automotive News, citing Ford China CEO John Lawler. The Blue Oval will start selling a hybrid variant of its Mondeo there later this year and will introduce the C-Max Energi Plug-in Hybrid by early next year. The company didn't provide any details on the other upcoming hybrid or plug-in models in what's now the world's largest light-duty vehicle market.

Ford is looking to build upon rising sales in a market where the government is boosting incentives to get more people to buy advanced-powertrain vehicles. To qualify, the vehicles need to plug in and be able to travel at least 31 miles in all-electric mode. With its new China plan, Ford is following the example of fellow US automaker General Motors, departing from Ford's recent strategy of upping sales by offering new gas-powered crossover vehicles in China. GM wants to have at least 10 plug-in vehicle models available in China by the end of the decade, though the company was similarly mum about details beyond the Cadillac CT6 Plug-in Hybrid and plans for its late-2016 debut. China accounts for about a third of GM's annual revenue.

Ford's sales in China rose three percent last year to a record 1.12 million vehicles. The trend increased this year, with Ford's first-quarter sales up 14 percent from a year earlier to more than 314,000 vehicles. Globally, Ford plans to invest $4.5 billion to have as many as 13 new plug-ins and hybrids on the market by 2020. Last year, Ford sold about 72,000 hybrids and plug-ins in the US. That was down 24 percent from the previous year.


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