DETROIT (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co., seeking to challenge Toyota Motor Corp.'s dominance in gasoline-electric vehicles, said it will pass its own full-year record for U.S. hybrid sales this month on demand for its Fusion and C-Max models.
Hybrid deliveries for Ford reached a monthly record 8,481 in April, bringing the total this year to 29,561, said Erich Merkle, Ford's U.S. sales analyst. Ford's annual record for such sales was 35,496 in 2010.
Ford sold 13,891 Fusion hybrids through April in the United States and 13,285 C-Maxs, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
CEO Alan Mulally has rolled out the new C-Max hybrids and electric versions of its redesigned Fusion sedan in the past year to take on Toyota, which has dominated with its Prius hybrids since the early 2000s. The new models build on Ford's broader effort to add more fuel-efficient smaller cars to complement its strength in pickups and utility vehicles.
"We're turning, conquesting and growing our sales the fastest in the largest hybrid markets in the country," Merkle said Thursday in a telephone interview. Sales of gasoline-electric Fusions topped the Camry hybrid in April, and the top four markets for Fusion hybrids this year are Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, Merkle said.
Ford's share of U.S. hybrid sales was 18 percent last month, its highest ever and an increase from 3 percent in April 2012, he said. Only Toyota, at 58 percent, has a bigger share, Merkle said.
Toyota reported May 1 that U.S. deliveries of its Prius hybrids fell 21 percent in April to 19,889 and declined 12 percent to 75,613 this year. The company sold 236,659 Prius cars in the U.S. last year.
Jim Lentz, Toyota's North American CEO, said last month that falling U.S. gasoline prices had curbed Prius demand.