DETROIT--Sales of the electric Ford Focus, due in 2011, will be crimped by a high sticker price and a limited number of charging stations, according to Ford.
Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, expects sales of the electric Focus to range from 5,000 to 10,000 annually for a few years.
Production of the redesigned gasoline-powered 2011 Focus begins next year. The electric version will be powered by a lithium ion battery pack with a 100-mile range.
"We are going to make it as affordable as we can, but clearly it will be more expensive than a regular gas car," Fields says. "So that will limit its appeal at least initially."
Supplier Magna International Inc. co-developed the car.
During a Wednesday, May 6, media event in Dearborn, Mich., a Ford representative said it is spending $550 million to convert the Michigan Truck plant in nearby Wayne to assemble the redesigned Focus. The suburban Detroit plant previously built the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs.
The front-drive platform for the Focus is being engineered in Europe. Eventually, Ford wants the platform to generate global sales of more than 2 million a year.
For the United States, six models will be developed from the platform, including replacements for the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner crossovers and a Mercury model based on the Focus. All six models will be on sale by the end of 2012.
(Source: Automotive News)