Ford hybrid sales totaled 21,080 vehicles in the first quarter of 2013, marking the first time it has sold more than 20,000 hybrids in a quarter and a 324-percent increase over 2012 in national hybrid sales, according to the automaker.

This was the first quarter in which Ford offered all four of its new hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, including Fusion Hybrid, Fusion Energi, C-MAX Hybrid, and C-MAX Energi. Ford’s first hybrid offerings went on sale in October 2004, nearly a decade ago. 

This record sales quarter was driven by the success of the C-MAX hybrids and Fusion hybrids. The all-new design, fuel efficiency and smart technology the company’s new hybrids offer is attracting an entirely new group of customers to Ford showrooms, according to Ford.

Since the new 2013 Fusion Hybrid went on sale last fall, 73 percent of the car’s customers in the Los Angeles area are new to the Ford brand. In the San Francisco area, 77 percent of Fusion Hybrid customers are coming from another brand.

Ford’s electrified vehicles are also attracting customers in areas that have traditionally shied away from hybrids, including Texas, Florida, and the central region. One-third of all C-MAX sales are in the Midwest, where hybrid sales have historically been lower.

Early buyer data from industry analytics firm J.D. Power indicate design and technology are among the top reasons customers are choosing Fusion Hybrid. Fusion’s new design grabs attention at first glance, while technologies including SmartGauge with EcoGuide, Lane-Keeping System, Driver Alert, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and SYNC with MyFord Touch help to close the deal.

According to Ford, technology features sought after in Fusion Hybrid include:

  • 70 percent of all Fusion Hybrids are equipped with the MyFord Touch package compared to just 50 percent on the conventional Fusion.
  • BLIS and Lane-Keeping System are installed on 31 percent of hybrids, double the rate of the conventional Fusion.
  • 12 percent of hybrid customers select active park assist, compared to 7 percent for the conventional Fusion.

C-MAX Hybrid customers are also far more likely to load up their vehicles:

  • Vehicles equipped with technology packages on C-MAX Hybrid move off dealer lots three times faster than those without.
  • 27 percent of C-MAX customers get the panoramic fixed-glass roof.
  • More than three out of four customers choose the hands-free liftgate.