Two new models geared toward two very different buyers are the latest moves by Ford and GM.
Ford C-Max hybrid
The C-max is a 5 seat micro-van that has done well in Europe. Now, Ford is hoping the C-Max hybrid can win over buyers also considering the Toyota Prius V. Starting at $25,995, the C-Max will price $500 under the Prius V.
Ford hopes the fact the C-Max will be loaded with technology (parallel parking assist and a lift-gate activated by waving a foot under the rear bumper are two examples) will win over hybrid buyers looking for more than great fuel efficiency.
For Ford, cutting into Toyota’s lead in hybrids is a tall order. Toyota dominates the hybrid market accounting for more than half the sales of gas-electric cars in the U.S.
The C-Max hybrid will roll into showrooms later this year.
For the first time in 17 years, there will be a rear wheel drive car in Chevy showrooms. The Chevy SS (Super Sport) is actually the V-8 Commodore built by GM’s Australian subsidiary Holden. The first SS will be raced on the NASCAR circuit next year, with limited editions rolling into showrooms late next year.
Is there a market for an 8 cylinder performance Chevy? Absolutely. Even with higher gas prices, there are people who are still passionate about driving a performance car.
That’s the key to understanding why GM is bringing the Chevy SS to the U.S. It will serve a niche market.
This is also the second time the Holden Commodore will be re-badged and sold in the U.S. GM used to sell it as the Pontiac G8 until that brand was phased out as part of the GM bankruptcy and restructuring.
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