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One-Third of All U.S. Ford Dealers to Be Certified to Sell New EVs by Spring; Ford Delivers January Hybrid Sales Record



One-Third of All U.S. Ford Dealers to Be Certified to Sell New EVs by Spring;
                  Ford Delivers January Hybrid Sales Record

PR Newswire

DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 6, 2013

DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 

  o More than 900 Ford dealers will soon be certified to sell plug-in
    electrified vehicles, up from 200 in November; Ford expects to have EV
    Certified Ford dealers in all 50 states by spring
  o The surge in EV Certified Ford dealers reflects increased demand for the
    company's electrified vehicles – Ford's market share increased from less
    than 3 percent in April 2012 to nearly 16 percent in December 2012, second
    behind only Toyota
  o Greater customer access to vehicles such as Focus Electric, C-MAX Energi
    and Fusion Energi is a necessity as electrified vehicles go mainstream –
    research shows the number of customers considering plug-in hybrids has
    grown to 25 percent

Strong demand for Ford's three new plug-in vehicles has Ford certifying
hundreds more dealers to sell them than expected – including 900 to be
certified by spring and make Focus Electric, C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi
available in all 50 states for the first time.  

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130206/DE55048-INFO )

The 900 dealers represents about one-third of all Ford dealers in the U.S.,
triples Ford projections for the time frame and are an increase of 200 from
November 2012, the second full month C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in
hybrid were available.

Sales show these hybrids are resonating with customers, further strengthening
the case for dealerships to certify. Ford delivered a record January hybrid
sales month, following a record-breaking electrified vehicle sales quarter in
the fourth quarter of 2012. Ford expects to announce today record January
sales for Fusion Hybrid.

Certification allows dealers to sell Focus Electric, C-MAX Energi plug-in
hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid. Certification isn't necessary for a
Ford dealer to sell C-MAX Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid. Ford announced the
certified dealer program in February 2011.

Video: Ford dealers discuss EV-certification
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NLJqbek6RU&feature=youtu.be  

Certification also means greater geographic convenience for customers
throughout the U.S. for vehicles such as Fusion Energi – Ford's second
production plug-in hybrid that delivers an EPA-estimated gas plus electric
range of up to 620 miles (21 in all-electric mode) and fuel economy of
EPA-estimated rating of 108 MPGe city, 92 MPGe highway and 100 MPGe combined.
Fusion Energi – Ford's most fuel-efficient sedan – recently began shipping to
dealers.

"Research indicates that 60 percent of new vehicle shoppers are considering
hybrid products.  With this demand for more fuel efficient vehicles, early
sales of Ford's five electrified vehicles has been phenomenal, creating a
tremendous amount of excitement among our dealers," said C.J. O'Donnell, Ford
Electrified Vehicle Marketing manager.

Brian House, Electrified Vehicle Sales Manager at Varsity Ford in Ann Arbor,
Mich., said the dealership went through the certification process about a year
ago – months before vehicles such as C-MAX Energi were being sold. He said the
process has been worth it, especially when it comes to providing the best
customer service possible.

"All 23 of our sales staff are able to answer questions about each of these
vehicles," said House. "That's important, because customers want to learn as
much about these vehicles as possible."

Such inquiries at Ford dealerships around the country are translating to
sales.

Ford's launch of the new C-MAX Hybrid, C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid and Fusion
Hybrid this past autumn led the company to deliver record-setting hybrid sales
in December, resulting in a 9 percent market share gain to 16 percent. In the
same period, Toyota's share of the hybrid vehicle segment fell 8 points, from
68 percent to 60 percent.

"With so much excitement and activity surrounding Ford's new electrified
vehicles, we can rest assured our certified dealers are invested in being
prepared to provide the best possible customer service," said Paul Russell,
Ford's field operations manager. "Whether a customer is stopping in to look at
one of these vehicles for the first time or picking up their brand-new plug-in
hybrid, the certification program ensures we are ready."

Certification means the dealerships have met the automaker's guidelines for
dealers selling electric vehicles – including installation of at least two
on-site charging stations and participation in highly specialized training in
the field of electric vehicles.

"If you don't get on board, you're going to get left behind," said Tom Tower,
a 30-year veteran in the service department at Varsity Ford who took part in
the electrified vehicle certification training.

"People in our field can usually look at a service order and get a pretty good
idea of what needs to be fixed. That's not necessarily the case with a hybrid
or all-electric vehicles."

To become certified, dealers had to satisfy a list of other requirements, too,
including:

  o One of the two required charging stations at the dealership must be in the
    customer area and the other must be in the service area
  o At least one Focus Electric and C-MAX Energi must be available at all
    times for demonstrations and events
  o Of the sales consultant, sales manager, service advisor and service
    manager jobs at each location, 80 percent must meet specific electric
    vehicle training certification requirements that cover topics including
    advanced knowledge of electrification
  o Each showroom will have point-of-purchase display materials including
    digital assets and window signage
  o Participation in a Ford Go Green Dealer on-site facility assessment to
    identify energy- and cost-saving opportunities with a goal of facilitating
    energy efficiency, lower operating expenses and carbon footprint reduction

Ford took a phased approach to rollout of the EV Certified Ford dealer program
that began with phase one and centered on 19 key markets as determined by
market research, projected customer demand and other factors. The same
approach was used in phase two as the program launched in an additional 23
markets.

With more than 900 EV Certified Ford dealers expected to soon be in the
network, the phase strategy is no longer being used.

"The newest approach is based on a key market coverage strategy to ensure we
have good representation on a national basis to meet customer demand," said
Russell.

To certify… and beyond
Dealership certification is just one way Ford readied itself for the five new
electrified vehicles it is now selling. Other ways the Blue Oval prepared
included:

  o Doubling the size of the vehicle development teams focused on fuel savings
    and electrified vehicles compared with five years ago; Ford now has more
    than 1,000 engineers working on electrification
  o Most of the 1,000 engineers work in the 285,000-square-foot Advanced
    Electrification Center, a large building dedicated solely to vehicle
    electrification and located at Ford's Dearborn campus
  o Doubling the size of its battery testing capabilities to help accelerate
    development of electrified vehicle-related technologies by as much as 25
    percent
  o Transforming Wayne, Mich.-based Michigan Assembly Plant into a
    state-of-the-art facility capable of building several models – including
    Focus Electric, C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi – as part of a $550 million
    project
  o Working with suppliers on a $220 million project to convert Van Dyke
    Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights, Mich. into a facility that
    produces transmissions for Ford's electrified vehicle lineup, a move that
    has helped create 225 jobs and allowed Ford to deliver on its commitment
    to offering customers the power of choice when it comes to fuel efficiency

More information about Ford's electrified vehicle lineup can be found here.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), a global automotive industry leader based in
Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six
continents. With about 171,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the
company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides
financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information
regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit
http://corporate.ford.com.

SOURCE Ford Motor Company

Website: http://www.ford.com
Contact: Elizabeth Weigandt, +1-313-845-4147, eweigand@ford.com; Amanda
Zusman, +1-313-322-3132, azusman@ford.com
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