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2012 Ford Focus Electric: Here’s What Dealers Have To Do To Sell It

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2012 Ford Focus Electric, New York City, April 2012

2012 Ford Focus Electric, New York City, April 2012

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In order to become an official automaker-approved dealer, dealers often undergo a lengthy process to prove they meet with sales and service requirements before the automaker will allow them to sell its cars. 

For prestige, luxury or specialist cars like high-performance sports cars or plug-in vehicles, it’s common for automakers to require additional steps are met before allowing the sale of a specific model.

Like approved dealers for the 2012 Nissan Leaf and 2012 Chevrolet Volt, Ford dealers wishing to sell its 2012 Focus Electric have had to undergo additional approval. 

Now, thanks to Ford, we know what was required, and which of its dealers in California, New York and New Jersey met the grade to become the first 67 official Ford Focus Electric dealers.

In order to meet Ford’s approval, each dealer had to: 

  • Install two charging stations or more, one in the customer area and one in the service area. 
  • Participate in an energy survey to identify energy and cost-saving opportunities designed to lower the dealer’s carbon footprint, lower operating costs and increase energy efficiency.
  • Ensure that 80 percent of sales and service staff were appropriately trained in electric vehicle technology. For service staff, this meant undergoing additional high-voltage training. 
  • Have at least one 2012 Ford Focus Electric available at all times for demonstrations and promotional events.
  • Have the showroom kitted out with point-of-purchase information about the Ford Focus Electric, including digital assets and window signs. 

While we’re glad to see that Ford has chosen 67 dealers to roll out the 2012 Focus Electric to, we’d like to point out that despite lavish publicity for the Focus Electric, Ford sold none for the third month running in April. 

Will this change when the 67 chosen Focus Electric dealers begin sales later this spring? 

Sadly, we remain doubtful. Currently, Ford utterly refuses to comment on production or indeed answer many of the most basic questions about its plans for the car, while rumors within the industry peg 2012 Focus Electric production numbers as low as 500 cars. 

With retail prices starting at $39,200, and dealers only now being chosen a good five months after the first car shipped, the verdict is still out on just if and how the Ford Focus Electric will sell. 

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Comments (10)
  1. I see no reason for sales of the Focus to exceed those of the Leaf, which are currently God-awful. At best, advertisements, promotions,etc, can only make a product known to the public. After that, the product must sell itself. The Tesla Model S, now that's a different story. Tesla hasn't spent a penny
    on advertising, yet has sold out the first and part of the second year's production. It remains the only successful EV , and it hasn't even hit the road yet. The Model S sold itself because it is a very desirable car, that only coincidentally happens to use electrons for power. And with its shortest range model over twice that of the Leaf, it's also WAY more practical.
     
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  2. And with a STARTING price of $49,900, the Tesla Model s is also more than $10.000 as pricey. (And yeah... that makes it "also WAY more practical"...)
     
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  3. Correction: The starting price of the lowest-spec 2012 Tesla Model S is $57,400. Buyers may be eligible for a $7,500 Federal income-tax credit (not everyone is), which will be realized up to 16 months later (depending on purchase timing). Buyers may also be eligible for state and local purchase rebates, tax credits, and other incentives--but don't buy into Tesla's misleading marketing. The LIST PRICE of that vehicle is $57,400.
     
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  4. Yeah, Kent, it's amazing how successful cars that haven't even launched are... Also, how practical they are, too, especially at the $60k-$80k most of the Teslas will cost. Only $70k for a "practical" car...

    Let me know when Tesla gets out of the niche world since a niche maker of 5k-10k annually isn't really competing against anyone yet. Let's see how Tesla does when Toyota/GM/Ford see an actual EV market and devote more resources than Tesla will ever have. Better yet, when BMW and Audi release beautiful EVs that Tesla isn't competing with yet. It's amazing how perfect Tesla is beofre its first internally developed vehicle hasn't even been released yet.

    Again, I wish Tesla luck, but it's the calm before the storm, to say the least.
     
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  5. I think Ford is guarding their current profits with ICE cars by going slow on pure EVs.
    At $40K, and with no trunk space, there won't be many sold right away.
     
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  6. My local Ford dealership is one of the 67 on Ford's list of dealers for the Focus Electric. I mad my purchase intent for the car way back in later 2011 when Mullaly was on the David Letterman show. Have I ever been contacted by ANY of that showroom's sales people? Nope. And everytime I've been there (Maybe a 3 or 4 times since late 2011), the reps say the same thing: "We don't have any info on that car." Or, "Ford's never going to come out with that. Can I interest you in a CHEAPER and still fuel-efficient GAS Focus right now instead?"
     
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  7. One more thing:

    I haven't been back to that dealership since February. But I can be pretty sure they have NOT met all five of those Ford requirements as outlined in your piece.

    Or, at the very least, they never bothered to call me back to say they have "at least one 2012 Ford Focus Electric available at all times for demonstrations and promotional events" or "Have the showroom kitted out with point-of-purchase information about the Ford Focus Electric, including digital assets and window signs."

    And, mind you, this is toward a person like ME who's more than willing to plunk down over $40k for the car!! So, it's kinda a "no-brainer" about how the Focus Electric will "sell" sadly. :-(
     
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  8. @Paul: Feel free to contact us personally to discuss this further. You can reach me at: john (at) highgearmedia (dot) com.
     
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  9. Paul, I'm sorry you're so frustrated and I also wish Ford seemed more organized with the launch. I will note that it was very similar with the Volt at first. When I visited several dealers in October, they were clueless, but nice... No inventory, no choices, etc... Pricing was hilarious and leases were almost non-existent.

    When I visited more dealers in March, things were MUCH better, at least at most dealers. Leases were available, finally, inventory was passable, if still not good, and I'm driving a Volt as a result.

    I'd love my wife's next car to be the FFE & I'd pay $40k, but like you, we'll see, I guess... Come 2013, though, when BMW and Audi get their own EVs here, Ford won't even be considered.
     
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  10. I attended a Ford Focus electric ride and drive event yesterday in Kansas City Missouri and got to drive the car. Maybe it was just me but I really got the feeling that the Ford Rep that was at the event wasn't really very excited about the car. He told me (paraphrasing)that Ford was going to ease into the the electric car market and that production numbers would be low. He said it could be two years before the car would have a DC fast charging option. The PR people who were riding in the car knew little to nothing about the vehicle. The PR person riding with me told me proudly that the A/C and heating systems were powered by the 12V battery in the front of the car. I was considering waiting for the Focus. Not now.
     
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