Ford Won't Upgrade New Focus Electric, Has Only Sold 1,400 Since '11 Launch
June 12, 2013 3:54 PM
The 2014 Ford Focus Electric won't receive any changes from the previous model year
Ford seems to have given up on its
Focus Electric compact car
, as it recently revealed that it won't make any changes for the new model year.
Ford said it won't make any vehicle upgrades or changes to the upcoming 2014 Focus Electric, which is expected to make an appearance this summer.
According to Nancy Gioia, Ford’s director of Global Electrification, electric vehicles (EV) aren't worth the money. Instead, the company is focusing (no pun intended) on hybrids and plug-in hybrids.
“The batteries are still very expensive,” Gioia said. “The pay back period is still tough ... BEVs are a hoot to drive. That is not the issue. The economic viability of it is. We still see battery electric as niche. We think that by focusing on the plug-ins and that awareness, we actually end up benefiting both the hybrids and the plug-ins.”
Ford currently has three hybrids, including the Fusion, C-Max and Lincoln MKZ -- and two plug-in hybrids, including the Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids.
Ford has only sold 1,416 Focus EVs since its December 2011 debut.
This pales in comparison to other EV makers, like Nissan. Nissan's Leaf hit 7,614 sales for the first five months of this year alone, with 2,138 of those sales in May -- a 300 percent increase over its sales in May 2012.
A large reason for the increased Leaf sales is its recent price cut. Nissan
slashed the entry-level price
of the Leaf 18 percent to $28,800 back in January.
Other electric vehicle makers are cutting prices as well, such as Honda. Its Fit EV lease dropped from $389 to $259 per month.
cut the Focus EV lease price
from $350 to $285 per month and even dropped the base price $2,000 to $37,995, Gioia said Ford won't make any huge cuts like other automakers.
“We’re not going to chase down to the lowest price possible — that doesn’t make sense to erode the brand image or the true value of the product,” Gioia said. “We’re going to continue to evolve that product — make it better and better ... We don’t see the need to push it like crazy and erode the image of it.”
Ford spent $550 million to retool its Michigan Assembly Plant for production of vehicles like the Focus Electric, C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi -- and even spent $450 million more in 2010 for EV engineering and production. The Michigan Economic Growth Authority also gave Ford tax credits totaling $188 million.
The Detroit News
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