Following a couple of years of low sales in the market, Ford has officially ceased production of the Focus Electric in Europe (at the facility in Saarlouis, Germany, to be specific).
European production of the all-electric Focus Electric began back in 2013, but sales have been anemic to date — with just 61 units sold in Europe in 2016, and just 70 sold there in 2015.
The head of global vehicle evaluation at Ford, Graham Hoare, commented: “Volumes are not strong enough. We will revisit when the market matures.” But is it a matter of the market maturing, or a matter of Ford’s interest and competitiveness in the market maturing?
The Ford Focus Electric did get a battery boost last year, increasing the battery capacity to 33.5 kWh, and the EPA-rated range to 115 miles (185 km) on a single charge. The European rating is ~225 km (140 miles), up from ~160 km (100 miles), but those aren’t real-world ranges. The EPA ratings are much more comparable to real-world driving.
“Ford has previously said that sales of full electric vehicles were low in Europe because few customers see them as a practical choice,” Automotive News comments. “Ford has been reluctant to discount the model to boost sales, as other manufacturers of electric vehicles have done.”
The Focus Electric has a €34,900 price tag in Germany and costs £31,395 in the UK, compared to $29,120 in the US — all before incentives (which equal €4,000 in Germany, £4,500 in the UK, and up to $7,500 from the US federal government).
Considering the competition — Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf, etc. — it shouldn’t be too surprising that Ford Focus Electric sales haven’t taken off in Europe. The pricing is a bit high for what’s on offer. Possibly by design?…
In related news, Ford has claimed that by 2020 it will release an all-electric SUV with ~300 miles of range on a single charge. Perhaps that model would do better — though, that depends greatly on pricing.