Ford will have one-third of its US dealers in all 50 states—more than 900—certified to sell the Focus Electric battery electric vehicle (BEV) and C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) by spring. The 900 dealers represent about one-third of all Ford dealers in the US—triple Ford projections for the time frame—and are an increase up from 200 in November 2012, the second full month the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrids were available.
For January 2013, Ford reported sales of 81 Focus Electric battery-electric vehicles and 338 C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Cumulative sales since market introduction for the Focus Electric (June 2012, except for 2 units delivered in January 2012) are 693 units; cumulative sales for the C-MAX Energi (October 2012) are 2,712 units, bring the total sales of plug-in vehicles to 3,405 units.
Overall for January 2013, Ford reported sales of all its hybrids (conventional and plug-in) of 5,868 units. The majority of those (3,043 units, or 52%), were the Fusion hybrid, followed by the C-MAX conventional hybrid (2,387 units, or 41%). Fusion Energi—Ford’s second production plug-in hybrid—recently began shipping to dealers.
Ford’s market share of electrified vehicles has increased from less than 3% in April 2012 to nearly 16% in December 2012, second behind only Toyota.
Certification allows dealers to sell Focus Electric, C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid. Certification isn’t necessary for a Ford dealer to sell C-MAX Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid. Ford announced the certified dealer program in February 2011.
Research indicates that 60 percent of new vehicle shoppers are considering hybrid products. With this demand for more fuel efficient vehicles, early sales of Ford’s five electrified vehicles has been phenomenal, creating a tremendous amount of excitement among our dealers.—C.J. O’Donnell, Ford Electrified Vehicle Marketing manager
To become certified, dealers have to satisfy a list of requirements, including:
One of the two required charging stations at the dealership must be in the customer area and the other must be in the service area.
At least one Focus Electric and C-MAX Energi must be available at all times for demonstrations and events.
Of the sales consultant, sales manager, service advisor and service manager jobs at each location, 80% must meet specific electric vehicle training certification requirements that cover topics including advanced knowledge of electrification Each showroom will have point-of-purchase display materials including digital assets and window signage.
Participation in a Ford Go Green Dealer on-site facility assessment to identify energy- and cost-saving opportunities with a goal of facilitating energy efficiency, lower operating expenses and carbon footprint reduction Ford took a phased approach to rollout of the EV Certified Ford dealer program that began with phase one and centered on 19 key markets as determined by market research, projected customer demand and other factors. The same approach was used in phase two as the program launched in an additional 23 markets.
With more than 900 EV Certified Ford dealers expected to soon be in the network, the phase strategy is no longer being used.