Ford Dealers Love C-Max Energi. Dealerships Tripled Last Month, Big Sales Numbers Coming
To sell a lot of cars, you need a lot of dealers, in a lot of places.
Over the summer, Ford had just 67 dealerships certified to sell its lineup of plug-in electric vehicles, which at the time only consisted of one car, the Focus Electric. These 67 dealers were also limited to just three states California, New York and New Jersey.
In October that all changed.
Ford now registers over 200 dealers, which is a lot more than they had internally hoped for by this time.
This unexpected volume is mostly thanks to Ford’s local dealership’s unexpected desire to sell the new C-Max Energi, a 22 mile extended range vehicle that can be had for $29,995 (after federal rebate), even less in some other states, as well as the upcoming Fusion Energi in the new year.
“Ford’s strategy to deliver the power of choice for leading fuel economy across our lineup seems very well timed as our customers and dealers are showing significant interest in vehicles such as the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid,” says C.J. O’Donnell, Ford Electrified Vehicle Marketing manager.
Ford says that its customer’s acceptance of hybrids and plug-ins has soared recently, and that 1 in every 4 potential buyers that come in the front door would consider one, while taking the time (as usual) to poke at Toyota and their Prius lineup:
“C-MAX Energi joins C-MAX Hybrid to help Ford take on Prius for the first time, with great early signs as the hybrid outsold Prius v in its first full month of sales in October.”
Ford had hoped that by the time the Fusion Energi came out in early 2013 that they would have about 350 willing dealers certified to sell their three car plug-in lineup, but the company says that over 900 “are either certified or enrolled for certification” now.
With that kind of dealer participation and excitement, it looks like both the C-Max and Fusion Energis will be a big hit…and it can’t hurt sales of the Focus Electric either.
WHAT IS FORD’S DEALERSHIP CERTIFICATION PROCESS?
Certification means the dealerships have met the automaker’s guidelines for dealers selling electric vehicles – including installation of at least two onsite charging stations and participation in highly specialized training in the field of electric vehicles. To become certified to sell America’s most fuel-efficient and affordable plug-in hybrid vehicle, dealers first had to satisfy a list of other requirements, including:
- One of the two required charging stations at the dealership must be in the customer area and the other must be in the service area
- At least one Focus Electric and C-MAX Energi must be available at all times for demonstrations and events
- Of the sales consultant, sales manager, service advisor and service manager jobs at each location, 80 percent must meet specific electric vehicle training certification requirements that cover topics including advanced knowledge of electrification
- Each showroom will have point-of-purchase display materials including digital assets and window signage
- Participation in a Ford Go Green Dealer Onsite Facility Assessment to identify energy- and cost-saving opportunities with a goal of facilitating energy efficiency, lower operating expenses and carbon footprint reduction