Tag Archives: Sales

Contradictory article contradicts itself!

In the Detroit News today there is an article with the headline: “Buyers, electric cars slow to connect“.

I do realize that, in many cases, the headline is written by a different person than the article. The first section of the article would seem to confirm the headline saying things such as:

But four years after the Volt went on sale in late 2010 to enormous fanfare, sales haven’t met early optimistic predictions

Then later on, though, the items such as this are mentioned:

Still, EV sales overall are growing — with EVs up 25 percent and plug-in hybrid sales up 35 percent — but they still account for a minuscule .7 percent of U.S. car and truck sales. Some 20 models come in EV versions in the U.S.

What isn’t mentioned is that plug-in sales are increasing at a rate faster than hybrids did (source). The article, to me, just confirms that people are being overly critical of plug-ins in general and that if they aren’t a sales smash (e.g. in the top ten sales list) then they are a failure. This is completely unreasonable; no new technology was a sales leader when it was first introduced (Apple iPhone notwithstanding).

I have another nitpick with the article:

Automakers have spent billions to introduce the vehicles. They repeatedly cut prices in an effort to juice sales. Just this month, Ford Motor Co. cut — again — the price of its slow-selling Ford Focus EV. Its price tag is $29,995 — down $6,000 since last year and down $10,000 since the Dearborn automaker put the vehicle on sale in late 2011.

Price alone isn’t why the FFE hasn’t sold that many (all along its price structure has been in-line with its competitors). Ford itself has said many times “We don’t expect to sell many of them” and, given how much effort they’ve put into selling them, sales have born that out. The FFE is a great implementation of an EV and Ford would sell many more if they simply marketed the thing…

In contrast the Detroit Free press has published an article helping people decide what kind of alternative vehicle they should get.

An uptick perhaps?

So far the FFE hasn’t exactly broken any sales records. Inside EVs calls the FFE the “oak tree of EVs” because it always seems to sell about the same amount of cars each month. For the longest time it seemed to only sell a hundred or so. The past couple of months it broke through the 200 car level.
During this time the number of new owners appearing on the myfocuselectric.com forums appeared pretty constant at two to four per month. For this past September, however, the apparent number of new owners has really increased, like 8-12 or so. Granted these values are a really big guesstimate but this has been my impression simply by the number of posts that have shown up. Now if the ratio of users who search out a forum to discuss their cars to the total number of drivers of said car is roughly constant, then this would possibly indicate that the FFE will sell more than 200 cars for September? We’ll find out if my seat-of-the pants observation shows true or not….

You can check if I’m right here. Ford will report its EV and plugin sales sometime in the afternoon of October 2nd.

Update: Nope! Only 176 FFE’s were sold in September….sigh.