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Driven by Soaring Hybrid Demand, Ford Maverick Sets New Sales Record

by | March 6, 2024

The Ford Maverick pickup has delivered a major hit for the Detroit automaker – and much of the credit goes to the hybrid version of the little pickup which accounted for nearly half of its record sales in February. Hybrids, in general, are setting all-time highs as automakers bring more to market and position them as a bridge between gas and all-electric drivetrain technologies.

2022 Ford Maverick

The Ford Maverick has proven an unexpected hit, and the hybrid package — Ford’s lowest-priced U.S. model — has been a major reason.

It may be in its third year on the market, but the Ford Maverick continues to gain momentum. U.S. buyers purchased a record 13,263 of the compact pickups last month, a substantial 73% year-over-year increase.

Equally significant, the hybrid version of the Maverick accounted for nearly half of that total, or 6,463 of the pickups in February. That was a 60% increase compared to the same period a year earlier.

It underscores the booming demand for gas-electric hybrids overall — which have seen a big sales surge over the last 18 months, even as growth in the battery-electric market flattens out a bit.

High demand for hybrids

“Looking at the big picture, hybrid sales are up across the board,” said Michelle Krebs, senior automotive analyst with Cox Automotive. “Hybrids are hot, even as they’re in low supply. I imagine Ford could have sold more if they had enough.

2022 Ford Maverick - rear on trail

U.S. dealers had only a 28-day supply of Mavericks in February, even fewer when it came to the hybrid package.

Among the 30 best-selling vehicles in the U.S. market in February, Cox data show that only the brand new Toyota Grand Highlander was in shorter supply on dealer lots than the Maverick, including both hybrid and gas models — and the new Japanese SUV is in ramp-up phase where supplies are normally expected to run short. Dealers had just a 28-day supply of both Maverick powertrain options, and even fewer hybrids. The average for the industry overall was 80 days.

“Hybrid vehicles continue to be a growth segment for Ford and sales have grown at a faster rate than the overall U.S. industry,” said Ford sales analyst Erich Merkle.

All told, Ford sold 23,202 hybrid vehicles in February, a nearly 32% year-over-year increase. And they accounted for 13% of the automaker’s overall U.S. volume. But it still has some catching up to do.

More Hybrid News

Taking aim at Toyota

2023 Toyota Prius - front 3-4 w sunset

Toyota hopes to rebuild demand for the Prius hybrid with its latest redesign and upgrade performance.

It’s been a quarter century since the first two hybrid-electric vehicles — the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius — rolled into U.S. showrooms. Initially seen as quirky niche products appealing to dedicated “green” buyers, it took some time to gain traction. While the original, 2-seat Honda failed to grow an audience, Prius took off, at one point becoming the single most popular vehicle in the huge California market.

Prius has lost much of its momentum in recent years — though it’s regained some with the launch of the 2024 model which was named North American Car of the Year in January. But Toyota has rapidly expanded its use of hybrid technology in recent years.

“We plan to offer hybrids for pretty much every vehicle in our lineup,” said Toyota’s U.S. brand chief David Crist during the debut of the 2024 Camry which will be offered solely with a hybrid powertrain. That’s the approach the automaker is taking with more and more products, including two new Crown-badged models. Other nameplates, including the RAV4 SUV and Tundra pickup offer hybrid options.

Last month, hybrids accounted for 37% of the 184,450 vehicles sold by Toyota in the U.S., including its highline Lexus brand.

2025 Toyota Camry XLE - front 3-4 with sign

The new Toyota Camry will be offered only in hybrid form.

Hybrid sales overtake SUVs

For all of 2023, American motorists purchased about 1.2 million new hybrid vehicles, according to Cox Automotive. The total was just over 1 million all-electric models, both setting new records.

Expect to see both categories gain even more momentum in 2024, said analyst Krebs. Despite often erroneous reports suggesting EV sales are declining, she noted, the accurate story is that their rate of growth slowed in 2023. But Cox forecasts demand will hit 1.5 million this year, a new record, and about 10% of the overall American market. Hybrids will push even higher.

By year-end, some experts believe, project, “electrified” vehicles will account for nearly one in four new vehicles.

Plugging in

That figure is also expected to include a growing number of plug-in hybrids — like the Toyota Prius Prime — which have large enough batteries to allow them to operate entirely in electric mode for anywhere from 25 to more than 50 miles.

General Motors recently announced plans to add some PHEVs to its lineup, with other automakers following suit. Along with conventional hybrids, they’re seen as a “bridge” technology appealing to motorists not yet ready to make the jump to all-electric models, said Tyson Jominy, chief data analyst for J.D Power.


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