Ford not calling for big jump in Focus Electric sales this year

Ford has modest sales expectations for its Focus Electric.

Ford remains cool on the sales prospects of its Focus Electric, despite the fact that the Dearborn-based automaker will certify another 700 dealers this year to sell the plug-in.

The number of dealers certified to sell the Focus Electric will jump from 200 to 900 this year, but Ford doesn't expect that fact to have a major impact on the EV's total sales. Ford is calling for the Focus Electric to account for just 5 percent of its total hybrid and electric vehicle sales this year, compared to 2 percent in 2012.

"Overall, it's meeting our expectations in the marketplace," C.J. O'Donnell, Ford's group marketing manager of electrification, said of the Focus Electric in an interview with The Detroit News. "I think as we expand the footprint, by definition, we will get more customers."

Last year Ford sold 685 units of the Focus Electric in the United States, bringing the electric's total sales count to 774 units. Most of the Focus Electrics, about 90 percent, were sold in California.

Although Ford appears content with the Focus Electric's performance in the market, the plug-in remains well behind its main rival, the Nissan Leaf. While Ford only managed 685 deliveries of the Focus Electric last year, Nissan sold 7,716 units its Leaf electric.

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