2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
With hybrid sales growing all the time, no hybrid-touting manufacturer can afford to be left without stock.
That's why Ford has announced it's to increase production of the 2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid by double for the new model year.
Announced by Ford's group vice president of global product development, Raj Nair, the increased production means 40 percent of 2014 MKZ models will be hybrids.
Hybrids are doing rather well in the market right now--with sales up 18.3 percent from January through June, compared to the same period last year. Figures from the Electric Drive Transport Association (via The Detroit News) show 257,635 hybrids were sold over the first six months of the year.
Ford's own slice of the electrified pie is nearly 16 percent--up from just four percent last year.
The MKZ Hybrid is proving popular itself, selling over 700 units per month over the last three months--thanks in part to a price no different from the non-hybrid MKZ. From January through June, Lincoln has sold 3,090 examples, though that number may also include a few 2012 models.
Software changes will recalibrate several vehicle control systems to enable better economy.
Among these changes, the top speed in electric mode will be increased from 62 to 85 mph, a reduction in the engine fan's speed, reducing warm-up time, reducing climate control energy consumption and increasing the use of the aerodynamics-enhancing Active Grille Shutters.
These changes will also be available to owners of existing 2013 MKZ Hybrids, as a free software upgrade.