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.