After Some Confusion, Ford Focus Electric Will Hit 19 Markets in Spring of 2012
Ford today clarified launch plans for its forthcoming Focus Electric, saying that the despite reports to the contrary the car has not in fact been pushed back and will see a limited release in New York and California as scheduled, by the end of this year. The announcement comes after an Automotive News story last week questioned the launch timeline for the Focus Electric, which according to the car's PluginCars.com vehicle page (and pretty much every media report from the last year,) used to be “19 markets in late 2011.”
According to a post in the myfocuselectric.com forums, a Ford marketing manager named David Finnegan told a prospective customer in an email recently that Ford does not intend to deliver the car to all 19 of its listed initial markets until spring of 2012. The information spread and was picked up by the media, until Ford today confirmed in a statement that the car wouldn't actually be available to all initial markets at the time of its launch:
“Ford remains on schedule to deliver the initial Focus Electrics by the end of the year. As previously communicated to dealers, the first few months of Focus Electric production will be concentrated on delivering vehicles to California and New York. Our dealers in those areas will be the first to have their retail orders scheduled and receive the Focus Electric. We will be rolling out to the remainder of the initial Focus Electric markets starting with production ramp up in Spring 2012.”
The confusion could come from any number of reasons, but by pledging only to concentrate on two of 19 early markets during the first few months of release, Ford has effectively given itself some breathing room leading into the Focus Electric's launch. Was the plan ever to release the car simultaneously to all 19 markets at the same time? We may never know. By keeping things ambiguous though, Ford got to truthfully promise a “2011 release” without fully releasing the car until the next year. The move could help to avert the public relations headaches suffered by Nissan over slower-than-expected deliveries of the 2011 LEAF.
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