In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a hybrid, plug-in and all-electric vehicle war raging in the U.S. new car market right now and Ford is one of the parties engaged in it.
Attacking Toyota and its Prius range claiming that its own hybrids are superior isn’t the only way the Blue Oval plans to boost the sales of its “green” fleet that by early 2013, will include the hybrid and plug-in (“Energi” in Ford-talk) versions of the C-MAX and the Fusion, and the pure-electric Focus EV.
Ford has announced that it has tripled the number of its dealers that are certified to sell its “electrified” vehicles to 200. The plan calls for all 50 states to have certified dealers early next year when the Fusion Energi will go on sale and 900 dealers, including the 200 already green-lighted, have enrolled in the program. That’s nearly triple the initial estimate of 350 dealerships.
"Ford's strategy to deliver the power of choice for leading fuel economy across our lineup seems very well timed as our customers and dealers are showing significant interest in vehicles such as the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid", says C.J. O'Donnell, Ford Electrified Vehicle Marketing manager.
"C-MAX Energi joins C-MAX Hybrid to help Ford take on Prius for the first time, with great early signs as the hybrid outsold Prius v in its first full month of sales in October," he added.
The list of requirements begins with the installation of at least two on-site charging stations, one in the customers’ area and one in the service area.
Moreover, dealership personnel would participate in specialized training in electric vehicle technology and 80 percent of the sales consultant, sales manager, service advisor and service manager employees should meet specific EV training certification requirements.
At least one Focus C-MAX Energi and Focus Electric should be available at all times for demonstrations and events, and each showroom must have point-of-purchase display materials including "digital assets and window signage" (sic).
By Andrew Tsaousis