jmueller065
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No changes for the 2014 Focus Electric

Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:06 am

Ford will not update the Focus Electric for 2014
Ford Motor Co. will not make any upgrades to its Focus Electric compact car for the 2014 model year, yet another sign the automaker’s lone all-electric vehicle is struggling to maintain relevance.
Boo hiss, wait and yet Ford is building them in Germany?? I'm getting mixed signals here!
Edmunds.com, which tracks vehicles that customers would consider buying, said in November 2012, just 0.55 percent of website visitors said they would consider a Focus EV.

That number dropped to 0.19 percent in May, the same percentage of potential buyers as Nissan Motor Co.’s all-electric Leaf.
And yet the Leaf is selling like crazy...something isn't right here. (Yeah they mention the price difference later on in the article--I'm sure that is a big part of the Leaf's popularity.)
“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.”
Then why no changes? "evolve" implies change...
2018 Cajun Red Chevy Bolt
2016 Magnetic C-Max Energi (lease returned)
2014 Sunset Escape
2014 Thor Axis (V-10)
2013 Focus Electric (lease returned Jan 2016 for the C-Max above)
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francishsu
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Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:18 pm

Re: No changes for the 2014 Focus Electric

Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:20 pm

That's a good article, particularly because it contains direct quotes from Ford's "director of Global Electrification" that are surprisingly honest. I would summarize the quotes representing Ford's perspective as follows:
1. BEVs are a niche product and prioritized behind hybrids and PHEVs
2. BEVs are not economically viable for Ford

I think this is similar to Fiat's line of thinking. Quoting from Autoweek's recent article regarding Fiat's view of BEVs:
Although the per-unit loss is high, the automaker's total financial hit should be minimal because Fiat-Chrysler, without being more specific, said it would produce a low volume of the electric 500.

The company said that the primary reason for launching the EV was to enhance the company's electric mobility expertise, which it hopes will lead to advancements in its future gasoline-electric hybrid models.

WattsUp
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Re: No changes for the 2014 Focus Electric

Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:54 pm

It is interesting to note then, that in the FFE, Ford has managed, apparently without even trying "all that hard", to produce one of their very best cars.

Indeed, range issues aside, the FFE perhaps offers one of the best "pure" driving experiences available of any car in its price range.
2013 FFE, Platinum White, Delivered January 2013
2017 MS, Midnight Silver Metallic, Delivered February 2017
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v_traveller
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Re: No changes for the 2014 Focus Electric

Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:57 pm

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.
vin
2015 B-Class Electric Drive - Cirrus White
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jmueller065
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Re: No changes for the 2014 Focus Electric

Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:13 am

The SVT Lightning had many changes over its run. Those changes were typically tied to the changes of the base vehicle: as the F-150s body style evolved the Lightning would change along with it.

Since Ford sold over a million Focuses worldwide last year there really isn't any need at the moment to update the base Focus. Thus I'm not expecting any changes to the ICE Focus for 2014 either--especially considering the fact that the Focus ST was new this year.
2018 Cajun Red Chevy Bolt
2016 Magnetic C-Max Energi (lease returned)
2014 Sunset Escape
2014 Thor Axis (V-10)
2013 Focus Electric (lease returned Jan 2016 for the C-Max above)
https://spareelectrons.wordpress.com/

v_traveller
Posts: 422
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Location: So Cal

Re: No changes for the 2014 Focus Electric

Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:27 am

The Lightning had two separate production runs, 1993-1995, and then 1999-2004. Within each run, there weren't any major changes, from what I could tell, but then I'm not an avid Ford truck guy. My point is that within each run that was based on the then-current garden variety F-150, it remained virtually unchanged, and so I would expect that the FFE remain virtually unchanged until the Focus for the masses is redone.
vin
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)
http://ev-vin.blogspot.com/

jmueller065
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Re: No changes for the 2014 Focus Electric

Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:47 am

LOL exactly--I think we're making the same point !
2018 Cajun Red Chevy Bolt
2016 Magnetic C-Max Energi (lease returned)
2014 Sunset Escape
2014 Thor Axis (V-10)
2013 Focus Electric (lease returned Jan 2016 for the C-Max above)
https://spareelectrons.wordpress.com/

v_traveller
Posts: 422
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:22 am
Location: So Cal

Re: No changes for the 2014 Focus Electric

Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:39 am

Ah! Sorry about that. :oops:

Wish you hadn't mentioned the Focus ST... now I need to wipe drool off of my chin...
vin
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)
http://ev-vin.blogspot.com/

jasmine78888
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:21 pm

Re: No changes for the 2014 Focus Electric

Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:23 pm

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Last edited by jasmine78888 on Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

charlestonleafer
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Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:39 am
Location: Charleston, SC

Re: No changes for the 2014 Focus Electric

Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:47 am

I think it's a two part problem. I like the Focus a lot, and would seriously consider for my next EV. However, in order to be any competition to the Leaf:

1. Purchase price needs to be close. Leaf base price is 10k cheaper than Focus. I know the base Focus has more features, but still, the "starting at 29k" gets a lot of attention.

2. Nissan has Leafs on the lot. This may not be the case in all regions, but the nearest Focus is 91 miles away, and that is only 1. The next closest is 175 miles away. All Nissan dealers in my area have at least 1 Leaf on the lot. Add to that the Ford dealers out number Nissan dealers 3 to 1 in my area.
2011 Nissan Leaf sold after 33,000 miles
2012 Chevy Volt sold after 28,000 miles
2013 Toyota Rav4 EV on the way!

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