DEARBORN, MI — Ford will start taking orders for the Mercury Mariner hybrid in July to gauge demand before production begins, according to the Green Car Congress. Ford, which has been selling the hybrid Escape since October 2004, will begin pre-selling the Mariner hybrid on July 11, when prices will be set. Based on the hybrid powertrain from its cousin the Escape Hybrid, the Mariner Hybrid delivers an estimated 33 mpg (city) and 29 mpg (highway), and is targeted to meet California’s Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle standard. Ford had planned to sell 20,000 Escape hybrids during its first 12 months on the market; after 8 months, Ford has sold 9,501 units. The company has yet to announce a sales target for the Mariner hybrid, which will begin volume production in October. Ford will use the pre-orders to calibrate the production level. Ford also plans hybrid versions of its new Fusion and Milan sedans in 2008.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials