Thanks for posting the articles, jmueller. Very interesting reads. And very enlightening, at least for me...
Prior to reading these articles, I was like many (if not most) folks... thoroughly enjoying my FFE, and wondering why Ford doesn't promote it with ad campaigns like Chevy does with the Volt and Nissan does with the Leaf, to increase sales.
Then I read this article, and thought about what was said by Ford:
"...it is a niche product..."
"...a hoot to drive... "
"...doesn't make sense to erode the brand image or the true value of the product..."
“We don’t see the need to push it like crazy and erode the image of it.”
Niche product? A hoot to drive? Brand image? Got me thinking of my brother's Boss 302 and SVT Cobra (he's a Ford guy), the F-150 Lightning, and of course, the Ford GT. All fun-to-drive niche products that are all about brand image. All remained pretty much unchanged for the limited production run. So now is it such a surprise that the FFE is unchanged going into 2014? Maybe not. Seems to follow the pattern of current and previous niche products from Ford.
It also makes sense to me now why Ford is happy with the FFE sales numbers - FFE sales seems typical, albeit on the low side, when compared to other Ford niche products, which typically sold at about 3000-5000 units/year; the outlier is the Ford GT, which sold at about 2000/yr. And from what I remember, none of these niche vehicles were advertised heavily; maybe an occasional ad in a car magazine, but that's about it. The FFE seems to follow suit; the only time I see an FFE ad is when I'm looking at something online that's clearly related to EVs.
One last note on these niche products... all are halo cars, designed to project a favorable image and/or perception over a product line, or sometimes, over the entire company (i.e. the Ford GT). The FFE is no different, as it has been referred to by the press as a "flagship" for Ford's electrified vehicles. I think it may even have a halo effect over the entire company...
So I'll stop whining about the low FFE sales numbers when they come out every month, and instead relish the thought that I'm driving a low-volume niche vehicle designed to exceed performance expectations, not sales forecasts.
2015 B-Class Electric Drive - Cirrus White
2014 Volt - Summit White
2014 RAV4 EV - Blizzard Pearl White
2013 FFE - White Platinum Metallic (2/2013 -12/2015)