"We really weren't sure if customers in Northern California would give C-MAX hybrids a shot because the region has traditionally been import-heavy," says Paulus. "But they truly love the vehicle, so it's very exciting."
Dealers in Southern California report a good response, too.
"The amount of interest in C-MAX has been outstanding," says Dan Theroux, general manager of Los Angeles-based Airport Marina Ford. "We are getting more and more questions about C-MAX every day – including from quite a few Prius owners."
The strong momentum now carries into 2013, as C-MAX Energi and C-MAX Hybrid will kick off the year as Official Cars of the 2013 International CES, the world's largest annual innovation event, scheduled Jan. 8-11 in Las Vegas.The 2013 CES is made for the all-new line of C-MAX – fitting in among the newest TVs, tablets, cameras, sound systems and just about all things. Both versions of C-MAX – which make up Ford's first line dedicated to hybrids in North America – will be featured prominently throughout CES. "C-MAX is made for CES, especially when you consider the amount of advanced hybrid technology it delivers," said Mondragon. "From SmartGauge and MyKey to the hybrid transmission and strong fuel economy, C-MAX belongs in the same conversation as the other technologies at CES." C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid and C-MAX Hybrid showcase Ford's latest and greatest technologies, including:
- SmartGauge ® with EcoGuide – SmartGauge is a unique instrument cluster that gives hybrid owners a more connected driving experience by coaching them to further maximize the fuel efficiency of the vehicle
- EV+ – Learns frequent destinations using the vehicle's onboard GPS system with the purpose of keeping it in electric-only mode for a longer period of time. Information about EV+ can be found here
- EV mode – Allows drivers to switch vehicle operation between three modes: driving all-electric only, normal hybrid mode or saving battery pack mode for later use
- Charge port light ring (C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid) – Conveniently located on the driver's side and near the front of the car, activates a light ring that illuminates the port twice when plugged in. The light ring then illuminates in quadrants as the car charges. Each quadrant represents 25 percent of the maximum battery charge
- Hands-free liftgate – The available hands-free liftgate allows for quick and easy access to the cargo area without fumbling for keys. A simple kicking motion under the rear bumper opens the liftgate when the user keeps the key fob to the vehicle in his or her pocket or purse, telling the vehicle it's OK to engage
- MyFord ® Mobile (C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid) – Allows owners to control select features of their vehicle from nearly anywhere, anytime, using the MyFord Mobile website or app. More details about MyFord Mobile can be found here