Ford's Fusion Energi. Photo Credit: Ford

Ford (NYSE:F) continues to drive away from one of the ugliest chapters in company history, and it's doing so with smaller, more valuable, and fuel-efficient vehicles -- a night-and-day difference from a decade ago.

Ford's C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid vehicles delivered their best sales month ever in October and outpaced sales of the Toyota Prius plug-in, Ford announced this week. Sales of Ford's plug-in hybrid vehicles in October shattered the previous record by 45%. Ford sold 2,179 Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi vehicles in October, up from the previous record of 1,508 in September. It said Toyota sold 2,095 units of its Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle in October.

California continues to be a strong market for Ford's plug-in hybrid vehicles, accounting for 38% of sales, according to Ford. That said, sales are strengthening in the Midwest and eastern regions. Fusion Energi sales, much like the trend in overall Fusion sales, are rising quickly. Fusion Energi sales in October doubled in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., from the previous month, according to Ford.

In terms of market share, in the previous 13 months Ford has been selling plug-in hybrids it has captured 34% of the market. While this is a victory for Ford, the plug-in hybrid industry remains small, selling just more than 39,000 vehicles through October -- still an impressive 32% sales increase.