Bogus Claim Of The Week: Ford Laying Off Workers Due To Weak Sales Of Focus, Hybrids PHEVs & EVs

MAY 5 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 10

2015 Ford Focus Refresh

2015 Ford Focus Refresh

Ford Fusion Energi

Ford Fusion Energi

In late April, Ford announced that it will be eliminating a “shift at its Michigan Assembly Plant where it makes the Ford Focus compact car and C-Max crossover because of declining sales of small cars, hybrids and electric vehicles,” according to the Detroit Free Press.

The move comes as no surprise, considering that gas prices are still relatively low.  Some of the “laid off” workers will be immediately redeployed at nearby Ford sites responsible for building trucks and SUVs:

“All our other plants are doing well.  We can’t build enough trucks or SUVs.”

States Ford spokeswoman Kristina Adamski.

Here how the lay offs/redeployments will play out:

“The automaker told workers and notified the state of Michigan that it will lay off 700 workers, starting June 22. The decision affects 675 hourly workers and 25 salaried employees who make the Focus, Focus ST, Focus Electric, C-Max hybrid and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid at the Wayne plant.”

“The first 200 workers will be laid off in June, another 200 at the end of July and the remainder at the end of September.”

“Ford expects that the first 200 laid-off workers will be redeployed quickly across the roughly 15 assembly, stamping, engine and transmission plants in southeast Michigan, filling in for workers on vacation…”

According to the Detroit Free Press, sales of the various vehicles made at Michigan Assembly are down:

“Sales of the Focus fell 14.5% in March while sales of the C-Max Hybrid fell 22%. For the quarter, the C-Max hybrid is down a whopping 31%.”

But, if we look at only plug-ins, a different story emerges.  In the first quarter of 2014, Ford sold a total of 2,039 plug-in electric cars.  In Q1 2015, that figure was an almost identical 1,978.   Certainly not down to justify 700 layoffs, like the Focus and conventional hybrid C-Max as noted above.  So, the statement that Ford is laying off workers due to declining sales of plug-in electric cars seem unjust.

Source: Detroit Free Press

Categories: Ford

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10 Comments on "Bogus Claim Of The Week: Ford Laying Off Workers Due To Weak Sales Of Focus, Hybrids PHEVs & EVs"

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Nix

How to set off to intentionally prove nobody wants green cars, and they should just give up and buy high profit margin SUV’s:

Step 1) Retrofit batteries into an existing gas car where they obviously intrude into the cargo/passenger space, in a way that early adopters are willing to accept the sacrifice, but puts off the general public.

Step 2) Sell the car for poor value on a dollar per mile of battery range. See how Ford ranks on http://insideevs.com/we-rank-2015-plug-in-electric-cars-by-range-per-dollar/

Step 3) Greatly overstate the MPG rating of your car, insulting buyers so your customer satisfaction ratings are well below segment leaders, like Volt and Tesla owner satisfaction.

Step 4) Goto CARB board and Congress and point out how green cars are costing jobs, and how they should get rid of regulations that the company worked so hard to undermine.

G2

+1

Kevin

All other extreme bias and exaggeration of your post aside, the very link that you quote to substantiate your second point clearly shows that the the Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi are among the best ranking plug-ins for $/AER range. According to the figures there they come in at $1525 and $1589 respectively after tax credit which put them better than most of the vehicles shown. The article on this page is not even referencing the Focus Electric but if that is what you using as a misleading metric then it still sits very well competitively majority of BEVs shown.

Anon

The Detroit Free Press is nothing but a mouthpiece for a regressive political automotive agenda. It is anti-science, anti-climate change, anti-green and quite anti-Tesla (and pure BEVs in general).

The generally conservative ‘echo-chamber’ nature of the publication makes reading it, painful. Its history of skewing data just to make a point, is well known.

Nix

Kevin — even at being towards the front of the PHEV list, the Fords are still 2-3 times worse than the 2016 Volt and BMW i3, and worse than any EV.

Just because there are some REALLY bad deals for PHEV’s out there, doesn’t mean the Ford’s are good. Just not as bad.

What you describe as the middle of the BEV pack, I look at and see as being at the back of the domestic BEV pack, with mostly expensive luxury EV’s behind it. That’s not what I consider competitive.

I suppose it all comes down to how one reads the data.

I will admit that I have been underwhelmed by Ford’s products for my own personal choices in what I would prefer to buy. But I gave them 100% equal unbiased consideration before deciding their offerings did not suit my tastes. YMMV.

Mike777

Because unlike Nissan, there as been No Improvement in the design or the battery.

kubel

Let’s be fair: The dismal 61 unit year-over-year increase in CMAX Energi sales isn’t going to save 700 jobs when they lost tens of thousands of sales on the Focus.

They all run on the same line in Wayne. The same workers that build the Focus also build the CMAX.

Focus is Ford’s best selling car. It’s no secret that the Focus is not selling. Everyone wants a truck these days.

Car Guy

Yes, the main problem is the gas Focus and hybrid C-max are not selling. The Focus Electric and plug-in C-max are doing fine. $4 a gallon will change this quickly.

QCO

Lets be honest about this. The electric variants are a drop in the bucket compared to the ICE volume in this plant. They just got sucked up into this announcement because that is where they are built.

The real problem is declining Focus and Fiesta ICE sales, which is partly due to low gas priced induced preference for larger vehicles, and partly due to some really, really severe problems with the dry clutch automatics Ford chose to put in the North American small cars. No one in their right mind would buy a Focus or Fiesta with that automatic given what is available from other manufacturers.

Goes to show Detroit still doesn’t understand small cars when they take 2 world class top selling B & C segment cars, and destroy them for the North American market with oenerous automatics or stripped out manual versions. Pretty sad.

Just_Chris

Wouldn’t it be great if ford dumped the regular c-max hybrid and only sold the energi version at the old hybrid price? I really wonder how much more a phev costs than a hev , especially when the battery isn’t huge. Could the savings associated with dropping one model be enough to bring the price of the phev down? Probably not….. Yet