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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ford Focus Electric: Delayed or ‘On Schedule?

Ford Focus Electric: Delayed or ‘On Schedule?

Will Ford Motor Co.’s electric powered Focus compact car get to market on time? Ford says yes but some expectant buyers say the company has actually pushed back and scaled down the car’s launch.
The discussion began on the My Focus Electricforum in which a prospective customer complained that the car wouldn’t be available in his his area until next spring. The writer was from the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina, which is among the 19 initial markets Ford listed earlier for the Focus Electric. Ford has long said it would begin delivering the cars by the end of this year.
So, why the apparent delay?
A Ford spokesman says the launch is still on schedule and that while cars will begin trickling to customers in December, the real ramp-up of deliveries won’ t occur until 2012.
“It was never our plan to have 100,000 cars on the market in December,” he says, adding that rolling out a new car “isn’t like introducing a new iPad.”
But in some ways the new car is like the latest consumer-electronic device. Demand for electric cars these days is high relative to supply, so any perceived lengthening of the wait is magnified. Ford also may not have been clear enough about the planned scope of the initial launch. The car maker now says that with early production of the car, it will focus on filling orders in the New York area and California, which are the biggest markets.
The plan seems to downgrade the other launch markets. Here’s the original list: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh Durham, Richmond, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tucson and Washington, D.C.

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