Published November 29, 2012
By Pete Brissette
Today at the press intro for the LA Auto Show which opens to the public tomorrow and runs to Dec. 9, green efforts were lauded for a single car – the Ford Fusion line – and an automaker – Toyota.
Ford's Fusion beat out the 2013 Dodge Dart, Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv, Toyota Prius c, and even Ford's own C-MAX in its taking of Green Car Journal's Green Car of The Year award during the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Green Car Journal publisher and editor, Ron Cogan, praised the Fusion for its multitude of powertrain options available and for being a top safety pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but also because the car is one that “people will actually buy and drive.”
The base model Fusion uses a 2.5-liter gasoline engine good for a claimed 175 horsepower and is EPA-rated up to 34 mpg on the highway. Ford's EcoBoost technology in the Fusion gives the 1.6-liter model 178 horsepower and 37 mpg, while a 2.0-liter EcoBoost produces 240 horsepower and an estimated 33 mpg on the highway.
In 188-horsepower hybrid trim the Fusion boasts 47 mpg, and 62 miles range on all-electric power.
As important as powertrain technology and fuel efficiency is for vehicles selected for consideration in the competition, MSRP carries much weight in voting. Helping the Fusion gather the honor of Green Car of the Year was its base price of $21,700.
“Ford did a stunning job in the redesign of this car,” said Cogan. “You want vehicles that speak to you, that make a statement about what it is you're driving. You're spending everyday in this car so it might as well be something you like. Nobody can accuse the driver of the Fusion of just being green. You can be green and fun at the same time.”
In related news, Nielsen Automotive named Toyota as Green Marketer of The Year.
The Nielsen Automotive Green Marketer of the Year Award recognizes the brand that made the greatest strides in gaining consumer awareness and positively shifting consumer perceptions for the automotive industry’s environmentally friendly marketing initiatives. Other finalists for the award included Ford, Honda, Chevrolet and Nissan.
The award followed a survey of nearly 2,600 consumers’ cross-media awareness and perceptions of environmental messages by automotive brands. Additionally, response data from 6 million viewers of national television advertising was collected by Nielsen’s ad effectiveness measurements service, focusing on green automotive ads, and measuring social media “buzz.” Said buzz was the aggregate sentiment within green-related discussion threads, based on over 115,000 social media messages.
Nielsen said that Toyota won by leveraging its Prius family ad campaigns as well as its social media events. The research firm said 53 percent of respondents were aware of Toyota’s green marketing initiatives. In addition, Toyota’s campaigns helped cultivate its strong green enthusiast base which drove the most positive online sentiment among the nominees, surpassing the auto average by 64 percent.