2012 Ford Focus Electric at $40K implies poor marketing judgment
As Q used to say to James Bond, “Now see here, 007!” except apply it to Ford marketing.
After all this time, we finally get the good news as of today that Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) will avail drivers that want to go completely gasoline-free can configure the all-new 2012 Ford Focus Electric online at Ford.com and place their orders with a Certified Electric Vehicle (EV) dealer. Well, I'm not buying Ford stock on this news alone.
According to the news release, “Today is an historic day, as Ford opens up the order banks for the company’s first full production, all-electric passenger vehicle – the Focus Electric,” said Chad D’Arcy, Focus Electric Marketing Manager, Ford Motor Company. “The all-new Focus Electric is an important part of Ford’s overall strategy, bringing still another option to customers who want a car that is fun-to-drive, easy to own and fully electric.”
Ford also sated that markets were chosen “based on several criteria, including commuting patterns, existing hybrid purchase trends, utility company collaboration and local government commitment to electrification.” Really? Is that all? How about affordability?
Of course, there is no immediate mention of price on the Ford website until you click the tab to configure the vehicle. In fact, I did just that. Then it hits you: $39,995; and that’s just the start. I stopped in my tracks.
Now see here again, Ford. You are offering us a car that is 100% electric that is priced beyond its competition and still has that range anxiety thrown in for free.
I’m all for electrification, but what ever gives Ford the idea that $40K-plus is affordable for the masses, regardless of the market area; that is, unless all they want to do is pander and tease the masses with an offering they cannot afford and limit it to those who can afford it; then, to make it more insulting, let the taxpayers cover part of the bill.
I was upset at the Chevy Volt costing $42K. Well, that now looks like a grand deal by comparison, considering I can drive the Volt to see my sister in Traverse City without even stopping.
So the Ford Focus BEV can go 100 miles on a charge? Well, the news release didn’t even reveal that, until read it elsewhere among the many links that it was the same range as the Nissan Leaf.
Well, it ought to go a lot further considering the price. Even the full EV Nissan Leaf goes that far, and for far less money.
Perhaps someone in Ford marketing came from old GM, because that’s the kind of idiotic marketing ruse I used to see out of that place.
What this tells me is that Ford is simply playing electrification; in other words, getting into the game. Put the car out there at a super-high price, then give the public the illusion that EVs MUST cost a lot due to the lithium-ion batteries; then offer the EcoBoost versions which will look like a darned bargain. Nice try, Ford. Speaking for myself, I see right through you on this one.
Full Disclosure: At time of publication, Sherosky, creator of the auto sector charts for TN, is neither long or short with the mentioned stocks or futures, though positions can change at any time. None of the information in this article constitutes a recommendation, but an assessment or opinion.
About the Reporter: After 39 years in the auto industry as a design engineer, Frank Sherosky now trades stocks, futures and writes articles, books and ebooks like, "Perfecting Corporate Character," "Awaken Your Speculator Mind", and "Millennial World Order" via authorfrank.com. He may be contacted here by email: [email protected] and followed in Twitter under @Authorfranks
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