Ford ends production of Focus Electric in Europe due to low sales

Article by Christian A., on April 18, 2017

Ford is ending the production of its Focus Electric in Europe, as its sales in the continent aren’t enough to rationalize the continued manufacture of the all-electric hatch. However, Ford will now import the Focus Electric from the United States to some markets in Europe where there is demand for the electrified hatch.

Graham Hoare, Ford's head of global vehicle evaluation, remarked during the sidelines of the Connected Car conference in the United Kingdom earlier this month that the decision to end production of the Focus Electric in Europe is mainly because of the fact that its volumes are not strong enough. However, Hoare noted that Ford will revisit the electric market in Europe once it reaches maturity.

Ford had been producing the Focus EV since 2013 at its manufacturing facilities in Saarlouis, Germany, where the carmaker is still producing the conventional versions (powered by internal combustion engines) of the hatch. Sadly for Ford, the Ford Electric isn’t selling so well in Europe. In fact, its sales have been below 100 units annually. According to market analysts JATO Dynamics, sales of the Focus Electric reached just 61 units in 2016, which is around nine fewer than its volume in the year prior (2015: 70 Ford Electric units).

To further the appeal of the Focus Electric in Europe, Ford gave the EV a new battery pack with larger power capacity (33.5 Kwh). This new battery allows the new Focus Electric to travel farther on a single than before, from just 160 km to 225 km (140 miles). Nonetheless, the misfortunes of this compact hatch didn’t end. According to Ford, EV sales in Europe had been low since only few customers consider them a practical choice. Moreover, while other carmakers are offering discounts to hike sales of the EV offerings, Ford has been reluctant in doing so. This meant that customers would prefer a similarly configured EV with lower price.

Despite the huge volume debacle, Ford isn’t totally pulling the Focus Electric from Europe. To cater to the minute demand for the Focus Electric despite not having any production processes for the all-electric hatch in the continent, Ford now imports the Focus Electric into some European markets from the U.S. The Ford Focus Electric has a price of around EUR34,900 in Germany before incentives.

Although Ford has practically given up on making the Focus Electric a big hit in Europe, its quest for electrified vehicles remains on the go. In fact, Ford plans to power its delivery vans with hybrid powertrains that make use of both internal combustion engines and electric motors. Actually, Ford is already planning to test a gasoline-electric version of the Transit Custom van London this year before commencing at its Transit site in Turkey in 2019.

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