Ford Sets New Highs On C-Max And Fusion Energi In September As Rest Of Segment Pauses

4 years ago by Jay Cole 16

Ford Extended Range Plug-Ins Continue To Climb Higher In September

Ford Extended Range Plug-Ins Continue To Climb Higher In September (Fusion Energi From $38,700 Shown)

Ford set several personal bests for plug-in sales in September while much of the rest of the EV segment paused to catch their breath after a record setting August when more than 11,000 EVs were sold.

Helping Sales, Ford Is Currently Offering $3,500 + 0% Financing Off The C-Max Energi

Helping Sales, Ford Is Currently Offering $3,500 + 0% Financing Off The C-Max Energi (MSRP – $32,950)

Last month 8 models set new yearly highs; 6 of which set all-time highs: Chevy Volt, Nissan LEAF, Toyota Prius plug-in, Toyota RAV4 EV, C-Max Energi, Fusion Energi, smart ED, Fiat 500e (all-time highs in bold).

This month only two managed to continue the trend, both from Ford:

  • Ford C-Max Energi: 758 units
  • Ford Fusion Energi: 750 units

For the Fusion Energi which was up 25% this month, the 750 sales represented an all-time high for the 21 mile extended range sedan, while the C-Man Energi was up 22% over their previous high for the year.  (The C-Max Energi’s all time high was 1,259 units sold in the hatchback’s first full month on the market).

Ford's Only All-Electric Offering Seems To Be Finding It Difficult To Compete Against Its Extended Range Brethren

Ford’s Only All-Electric Offering Seems To Be Finding It Difficult To Compete Against Its Extended Range Brethren

When combined with the Focus Electric’s sales for the month (110 units), Ford sold personal best 1,618 plug-ins in total – making them the third most prolific seller of EV’s in America, behind only Nissan (1,953) and Chevrolet (1,844).

Interestingly, the only car in Ford’s lineup to have an off month was also the only car that received a MSRP reduction this year, as the Focus Electric’s price was slashed by $4,000 in July down to $35,200.  At 110 units sold, it was the all-electric Ford’s worst month since January – perhaps it is having trouble competing with two other plug-ins sitting in the same showroom?  Or perhaps the problem lies with the dealers accepting inventory themselves at all.

Over the month, rebates of up to $5,000 were (and still are) available on all of Ford’s 2013 plug-in vehicles during September – Focus EV ($4,000 + 0% financing), Fusion Energi ($4,500), C-Max Energi ($3,000 + 0% financing).

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16 responses to "Ford Sets New Highs On C-Max And Fusion Energi In September As Rest Of Segment Pauses"

  1. Vin says:

    Regarding the FFE – Could have been a lack of dealer inventory… Early in September someone on myfocuselectric reported having a problem locating an FFE in their area; at that time I checked the L.A. area inventory on ford.com and found one 2013. I checked again last night and now there’s about thirty 2014 FFEs on dealer lots… We’ll see what happens this month…

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Its true, there is not a lot of Focus Electric inventory. Ford has also billed it as a “we will build when people order” kind of product for some reason.

      Also, and this is only speculation on my part (so don’t quote me), my impression is that Ford had a lot of trouble getting dealers to convert to being EV-ready, to able to take inventory of the Focus Electric last year until the Energi products came along. Ford may still be seeing some resistance/reluctance from dealers to carry this product in depth (or at all) in the showrooms. It is not an uncommon occurrence as we have seen this type of thing play out with other EV offerings that aren’t perceived as being major sellers to dealers.

      1. Bloggin says:

        FFE is a ‘special order’ vehicle, and there is no request or requirement for dealers to hold any inventory, only the current 750+ units as demonstrators at dealerships.

        So there is no reluctance on the part of dealers to inventory the FFE. It’s how the business model is designed for business reasons.

        Simply because today full EVs are a loss. Tesla has to use CA credits to show a profit. Nissan is in the same situation with the Leaf. The difference is that Nissan has high volume ICE vehicles earning profit for the company.

        Ford has decided to hold the FFE as ‘special order’ only, and by using a shared global platform and ‘top hat’ of the ICE Focus, is able to turn a profit on each unit. But since consumer demand is so low, nationwide print/tv/radio marketing and distribution would just create an unnecessary loss. Web marketing will continue.

        Unlike Tesla and Nissan who is taking a loss on the sale, the marketing, distribution, but attempting to recover some of the losses with the sale of CA credits and Nissan looking to earn revenue from leasing battery packs for the life of the EV.

        The predominant trend for electrified vehicles moves from (A)Hybrid to (B)plug-in hybrid to (C)full EV. A is clearly the largest group, followed by B then C. Which is where marketing/distribution dollars go in proportion. Not including the small demographic of early adopters.

        Which means as the largest and rapidly growing group, hybrid consumers, get more comfortable with electrified driving, their logical step is to a plug-in hybrid. With a big boost in plug-in hybrid sales expected to begin in 2014, as MY2015 plug-in hybrid pricing drops to match the current hybrids.

        Then as plug-in hybrid consumers gain more confidence in their available EV range, in a few years they will transition to a full EV. But only when range is at a comfort level 200+ miles and pricing is below $30 to match their plug-in hybrid.

        Which is why 2016 should offer the biggest boost for full EV sales, marketability and profitability.

        1. Ocean Railroader says:

          I think it might be lack of inventory and that a lot of regular people who don’t know a lot about EV’s or plug ins in general do not know it really exists. But things are changing very fast in my area in that they seem to be slowly are coming into local parking lots across the area.

  2. Bloggin says:

    With a lease plan that offers the Fusion Energi at less than $20/mo more than the Fusion Hybrid SE, and C-Max Energi less than $20/mo more than C-Max Hybrid, sales of the Fusion/C-Max Energi should continue to climb.

    With 3 Ford plug-in options to choose from, and the Fusion Energi at about the same price, the limited range 76 EV mile Focus Electric is even more challenged. But it’s there for those who want it.

  3. David Murray says:

    I bet the energi products are easier to sell to the average American than the Focus EV with its limited range and lack of DC charging. You can pretty much say that it requires absolutely nothing different from the driver other than they have the “option” to plug it in and save gas. If they don’t want to, it drives just like any other C-Max or Fusion. And with good lease rates and the federal incentives, it’s kind of a no-brainer unless you absolutely need the extra cargo area.

    1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      C-Max Energi (one I’d consider as part of a PHEV+BEV pair) is a C-Max Hybrid SEL with a bigger pack and plug-in. There are apparently some good offers in some places that could make it cheaper to _buy_ than a C-Max SE. Another car to shop nationally.

    2. Puzzlegal says:

      Yes. Right now, you have to be very commited to electric vehicles to buy a pure electric, and you have to tailor your driving around where you can plug in.

      With an energi, you don’t have to worry about whether there is infrastructure to support plug-in cars. You can plug it in overnight in your own garage to save gas, and if you want to drive farther than its electric range, you just burn gas, and don’t worry about it.

      As plug-in hybrids become more common, and there is demand for public charging stations, that infrastructure will be developed. And THAT is when pure electric vehicles will become a viable option for ordinary drivers.

  4. Suprise Cat says:

    Typical CARB cars, not even available in Europe.

    1. David Murray says:

      I believe you are mistaken. These are not CARB cars. They are available nationwide in the USA and I believe the C-Max Energi and the Ford Focus EV are available in Europe.

      1. Ocean Railroader says:

        These C max cars are punching their way into gas car cores such as central Virginia and their numbers are steady growing. So far I have not seen any fully EV cars on the road yet in Virginia.

  5. MTN Ranger says:

    I give Ford credit for at least having all three available nationwide.

  6. Ocean Railroader says:

    The Ford C max car was the first plug in car that I saw driving down the highway under it’s own power. And it was the same plug in car that I ever saw in a public parking lot. If a car like this can be seen driving around in the core of Virginia it has a lot of things going for it and I do think this car could be danger to the volt. Such as on the car websites in Virginia the Chevy Volt is listed for $41,000 while I have seen a lot of dealers run sales on the C Max at $28,000 where they knock of $4000 off of the list price of $32,000 before any tax things. To me that is quite close to Prius territory.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      But that “tax thing” matters since Volt gets signficantly more tax rebates $3,750 more?

      The new 2014 Volt is only $35K – $7,500 is $27,500 before any dealer incentives….
      Energi with $32K – $3750 is $28,250 before any dealer incentives….

      So, Ford has to discount it to even have a chance against Volt which has 2x the EV range. Sure, the extra space/seat in the Energi is appealing to many buyers but many plugin buyers want as much EV range as possible.

      1. Ocean Railroader says:

        As far as Taxes I think the price I saw was without any Tax breaks added to it at $28,000 in that the car dealer already knocked off $4000 from the retail price.

        What is happening locally is I have seen far more Ford plug ins then volts by two to one and I think the $7500 is more complex for someone wanting to buy a car with a retial price of $34,000 to $27,000 then the dealer simply having having the car look at the consumer at $28,000.

  7. Ocean Railroader says:

    Another plug in C max has joined the local Virginia plug in car herd in that I remember seeing a white one but it now looks like a totally new sliver one has shown up. If these cars are popping up like this in Virginia over the last few weeks like this I think we have not seen anything yet with this car’s ability to go main steam.