Ford Motor Company set an all-time record for hybrid sales in December, selling nearly 8,000. About half were C-Max sales, and about half, the hybrid version of the Fusion.
The company also beat its previous January record for hybrid sales by more than 500%.
Granted, the total number of hybrid sales for the company isn't much compared to its higher-volume sellers. Ford sold more than 19,000 non-hybrid Fusions in January, dwarfing the hybrid Fusion sales of 3,043.
Ford Motor Company hopes to earn a place on the hybrid map in the U.S. with its new C-Max.
The company knows that won't be easy.
No one comes even close to the dominant sales position of the Toyota Prius line of vehicles - the original Prius, the smaller Prius C, and the larger Prius V.
Ford's new C-Max has a major bragging point: it beats the fuel economy of the Prius V by 7 miles per gallon on the highway.
The Prius is beloved by its owners; it has one of the highest loyalty ratings of any car.
So Ford has chosen a gentle style of humor over an aggressive pitch to sell the C-Max.
Ford today launched a series of ads using a cartoon character, "La Linea," -- a revival of the classic 1970s character from a popular Italian animated children’s series.
The ads show the character overcoming the performance limitations of a Toyota Prius, by driving a Ford C-Max. You can see one of the ads here:
“The ads are done with just the right tonality of competitiveness versus a strong competitor. It clearly positions our product in a fun way,” says Matt VanDyke, director, U.S. Marketing Communications, Ford Motor Company .