Stateside, Ford execs are quick to point out the automaker's expansion in the plug-in sector. And despite a minimal presence in the pure EV space, the Blue Oval has been promoting its plug-in vehicles as part of an overall effort to boost fleetwide fuel economy. Too bad the company's UK chief didn't get the memo.
Mark Ovenden, speaking rather frankly at the Geneva Motor Show recently, said he didn't have real high hopes for substantial electric-vehicle adoption and said the company's money was better spent on smaller gas- and diesel-powered engines, the UK's Daily Mail says. Ovenden said of EV development that there was "no point in us getting behind it and losing a fortune," adding that his goal was to have variants of Ford's EcoBoost engine in 40 percent of the company's vehicles. Ford has about a 15-percent market share in the UK.
There's "no point in us getting behind [EVs] and losing a fortune" - Ford's Mark Ovenden
The UK doesn't appear to be as kind to the EV as the US. Nissan last year cut the price of its all-electric Leaf there last year by about $4,000, while the company rolled out a promotion for the Leaf late last year, including allowing Leaf drivers to borrow a gas- or diesel-powered Nissan for free for as long as two weeks a year during the first three years of Leaf ownership.
In the US, Ford sold just 229 Ford Focus Electrics during the first two months of the year after moving 1,738 units in 2013.