Graphing The Downturn Of Ford Plug-In Electric Car Sales: 2010-2018

OCT 16 2018 BY MARK KANE 35

Ford once was selling more than 3,000 plug-ins a month.

Something worrying is happening at Ford, as the company several years ago had three plug-in models on sale in the U.S. and now is selling just the Fusion Energi. The C-Max Energi and Focus Electric barely note any sales (inventory still left over, though production has ceased).

In effect, Ford sustained sales below 500 a month for the second consecutive month, with Fusion Energi trim choices narrowed down and still no announcement of new plug-in models.

If Ford does not unveil a new production plug-in model in Los Angeles, there is still hope that we’ll see one at CES or NAIAS in January.

We would happily welcome a long-range CUV or the plug-in hybrid F-150.

Ford plug-in electric car sales in U.S.

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35 Comments on "Graphing The Downturn Of Ford Plug-In Electric Car Sales: 2010-2018"

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I thought they said they would do a PHEV F-150.

Yep and they said 2020 from the very start.
A recent check of the calendar says it’s Oct 2018 🙂

They shut down production of several cars to re-direct investment to new EV platforms.
We’ve seen spy shots of at least two platforms so we know they are not blowing smoke.
We should applaud them for not continuing with PHEV cars and shifting to BEVs.
Likely see some of that investment as pre-production vehicles at auto shows early next year (and maybe at LA show next month but I have no evidence of that).

Which spy shots are you referring to?

300 mile BEV crossover promised for 2020:

You could spend a few minutes with Google. It’s not hard.

I note what looks like a tailpipe. Or a fake one.

Nonsense. It’s got two tailpipes.

Do you really think this is a new diesel SUV?

Sorry my friend. We have seen many promises that were broken.
Unless they state clearly, its not going to hit the road.

I disagree. They should be continuing with PHEVs WHILE shifting to EVs. It’s not an either or, they can do both.

That just spreads the investment dollars thin. There is still room for PHEVs for some market segments (like large SUVs/trucks) where battery costs are too high to be practical.
Cars and small crossovers are going BEV too quickly to be investing in PHEVs

It takes minimal investment to improve a current production line product. Which Ford is expert at with the ultra slow pace of innovation in the CMax.

The Focus and C-max are being dropped across the line, the Fusion will do so also in a year or two. Effectively they will have saved a substantial number of full federal tax credit allowances for their upcoming dedicated EV(s). Would loved to have seen such vehicle(s) sooner but maybe not a bad strategy (or accident).

Talk talk talk no action

The new CEO does not seem with it at all.


No, he is not a car guy.

Maybe they should try advertising it, for a change. I’ve seen ads for plenty of their other models, which seem to be having a positive effect on sales….

This. As far as I can recall, the only significant advertising campaign I have seen from them is the very first Fusion hybrid that ran for a mere two model years I think ’09-11 or thereabouts. Past that, absolutely nothing. Pathetic. My only hope is maybe with Hackett at the helm now and the upcoming models this may change. Pretty much has to with so many manufacturers finally getting into xEVs on a more widespread basis.

Ford isn’t the only company struggling with EV sales. New products are always going to draw the curious early adopters. Long term growth relies on sales people who believe in the product. Sales people who are knowledgeable about the product. Sales people who are eager to promote the product. From a sales person’s perspective there’s no incentive to get to any of that. The company you work for doesn’t want to sell them (wink and a nod). There might be 2 or 3 EVs on the whole lot. Buried in a sea of trucks and SUVs that are an easy sale. Why go to the trouble when you can make a decent living off of the low-hanging fruit?

It’s the Tesla Truth. You can’t sell EVs from a mixed technology dealership. There is no incentive for the dealerships to go the extra mile, like charging, knowledgeable salesmen and even floor space. Look at what happened when Mercedes-Benz decided to go all electric on the Smart, a majority of dealerships said they would not sell the car and manufacturers have no way of forcing dealers to stock a given model. (Actually they can tie giving inventory of popular models to accepting inventory of EV models, I.e. “To get 20 more F-150s, you also have to take 5 Focus Electric cars”. )

I think that’s what will kill the legacy domestic auto manufacturers. The EV offerings of new brands that are unencumbered by dealerships will become the go to source for mass adoption of EVs. Some of the international brands, like Nissan, Hyundai and Kia will have their EV sales carried by non-US demand, and when ICE dies, they’ll have the production volume to supply their dealers in the US and they’ll survive.

There’s also the problem that a mixed lot has a $18K ICE next to the $37K EV with not much to differentiate them from a superficial analysis (which unfortunately is the case with many people).

Without the Telsa hype, it’s hard to make people spend twice as much.

Robotaxis may be a good reason to exit mainstream sedan sales.

Those FFE sales figures are really sad. Then again, under 7,000 Ford Focus ICE is really sad, too (Sept 2018). The Mustang is worse at under 6k last month. They sold 75,000 F-series trucks last month in the US, representing less than 1/2 of their sales for the month. They make most of their revenue off trucks and SUVs. My guess is they are going to make EV passenger cars to get the ZEV credits so they can keep selling them gassers without having to shell out to Tesla for the credits. Following GM, they can make a small EV of some sort, just enough to hit the credit requirements, say maybe 30k per year, and only in CARB states. Prove me wrong, Ford. I want you on-board, I just don’t see enthusiasm. One of my funnest days with friends was in a Ford Taurus SHO.

Meanwhile, Ford is basically setting itself up for one Trumpster Middle Eastern war or other fiasco away from bankruptcy when gas goes to above $5-8 gallon and stays there for a significant time.

Which I don’t mind. They set themselves for failures

“…without having to shell out to Tesla for the credits.”

It might be cheaper to buy credits. Tesla is certainly building a huge supply.

Among the Legacies, Ford is, to me, the most intriguing. (Toyota is the most frustrating, with Honda being close behind them.)

If you look at their record over the last several years, especially in terms of the most object measure, sales, Ford’s record on EVs is not good, to put it mildly. But if you look at their version of the “we’ll have X EVs on the market in Y years” story, it sounds like they’re furiously working on a veritable bevy of new plug-in cars, which they’ll start bringing to market RSN (real soon now).

I don’t know whether we should believe them. I try to remain optimistic that eventually the Legacies will get their act together and embrace EVs in a non-trivial, non-compliance way, but until it happens…

I guess it’s easier to buy credits from Tesla than to hire engineers.

I owned a Fusion Energi. Nice tech for its time, but that time passed and they only bumped the battery to 9 KWh for maybe 25 miles, but the poor BMS leads to degradation they don’t cover under warranty. I sold mine after it dropped over a third of its battery capacity in a few years and couldn’t get Ford to even look at it…

Mike Jackson of the huge USA AUTONATION dealership chain, when being interviewed by Crain Publications kept saying “NEXT” when asked any questions related to Hackett’s leadership, or FORD in general, other than saying the F150 is the best seller.

I would suspect Jackson is nonplused about FORD’s dropping the EV ball, and eliminating passenger cars in general.

Ford is dead in the water

Ford has only 3 electrified vehicles in its lineup.
Lincoln MKZ-Hybrid.

If Model-3 SR hits the market, it will grab all sales from MKZ-Hybrid.
With their redesign of Fusion on hold, no one knows.

We have to wait for the plugin versions of F-150, Escape, Explorer, etc.

It does seem a little obviously stupid to wait for Tesla to kick their butt with a powerful Pickup. Tesla is devistating the sedan market for the Germans and he has warned the big three that he is coming after them next (with the pickup). Why not get in front of this thing?

Because they (and the stockholders) are only interested in the next quarter’s profit. To heck with several years down the road. “More trucks and SUV’s please.”