Today gentle reader let me talk to you about the little dance that is played between journalists and contacts at major auto companies. In an ideal world any journalist could contact the appropriate company spokespeople and asks questions and get answers. In the real world, the companies pick and choose who they will answer predicated on a myriad of factors that include such things as that persons pull within the industry AND how pleased they have been with their writings in the past. If you ream Ford on something don't expect to hear from them anytime soon. To be expected I suppose.
The point is journalists tread carefully with their words, and we the eager EV buying people may have to factor that into the equation. Consider this article
that broke the delay story over at MLive. No mention of the word delay at all. Well played Ford.
Consider now if you will this post
by Eric Loveday. Eric is top notch writer on the EV scene. And he rightly points out that Ford has essentially delayed the launch of the Focus EV. Previously Ford had stated "We will be rolling out to the remainder of our initial markets starting in Spring 2012." September is considered very late Spring by many.
For those keeping score this is really the second delay. See this post
for info about the first. In the first delay Ford very cleverly declared that there was no delay and it was just a confusion over wording and intentions. I bought it, hook line and sinker, but I've come to realize that the story was a dead fish.
Let us now look at Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield's article
on GreenCarReports. Nikki is one of my favorite journalists on the EV scene by the way, her strong interest in things EV shows with her insightful reporting on the issue.
Observe kind reader how Nikki approaches this recent announcment of a delay.
"That’s quite different to what we’d initially understood Ford’s plans to be, so we reached out to Ford to make sure we’d understood things correctly."
Different to what we'd initially understood Ford's plans? See how Ford has trained us? When they change their plans we now have to assume that it couldn't possibly be a delay, clearly we erred in our understanding somewhere.
Specifically, we asked Ford to give us details on its initial sales numbers, comment on Tinskey’s comments about availability, as well as details of when pre-orders were expected to open outside of new York and California.
“We are still on track to ramp up Focus Electric retail production and availability in the first half of this year followed by 16 additional markets later this year,” said Ford spokesman Wesley Sherwood in an email last week. “We are not providing specific sales projections but continue to believe all-electric vehicles will be a small portion of the electrified vehicle mix for some time. Our initial orders are in line with this projection.”
Eric and Nikki's reporting is extremely fair to Ford. They could have easily have come blasting with headlines such as "Focus EV delayed for second time, is this car ever coming?" Would love to have access to the people who get to drive the eight yes count them eight Focus EVs that were delivered in 2011.
So what does this delay mean? I have no idea. Is there a problem with the vehicle? Certainly makes one wonder. Is this just Ford waiting to see which way the electric winds blow? Since we STILL do not have official EPA numbers on the Focus EV I would guess that those delieveries are not official retail sales?
If the thing works it appears to me Ford has a winner on their hands, which is why is difficult to understand the delay unless there is some issue. And as a prospective buyer Fords strange moves have me reconsidering if this is indeed a vehicle I want to plunk down 40g on.