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.

There's "no point in us getting behind [EVs] and losing a fortune" - Ford's Mark Ovenden

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.

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.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 48 Comments
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ford is the new Chrysler.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      So if you want to save Ford a lot of money then buy one of their gas cars . . . but if you want to save YOURSELF a lot of money then buy a plug-in car. Your choice.
      itsme38269
      • 1 Year Ago
      Weird, because they were a good way for me to make a fortune after buying TSLA at $21.
      jeff
      • 1 Year Ago
      I like Ford, but they are definitely setting themselves up to be left FAR BEHIND...
      Electron
      • 1 Year Ago
      Model S has a 28% gross margin at this point. There is money to be made here if you get the concept right. Maybe a short range ICE conversion build with no other vision than compliance just isn't it but how do you explain that to an ICE age dinosaur?
      purrpullberra
      • 1 Year Ago
      So Tesla has "lost a fortune" going to $30 billion in market cap? Raising the money to build the battery factory is a 'lost fortune' how? Doing EV's half-assed with zero enthusiasm is going to lose a fortune. DUH! Do ANYTHING half-assed and with no enthusiasm and you'll produce some terrible crap that few will want. This is a very late remark in the continuing self-fulfilling prophecy we've heard for a long time from the regular ICE manufacturers. If Tesla can do it, it IS possible. That Ford idiots think it's a money loser is NOT news. It is business as usual.
        Dave
        • 1 Year Ago
        @purrpullberra
        "So Tesla has "lost a fortune" going to $30 billion in market cap? But they've only sold $3 billion worth of cars. Do the math. Tesla makes money by selling stock, not by selling cars.
          purrpullberra
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dave
          Have they made a fortune? YES. End of story. The line is a lie. That is all.
          jeff
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dave
          And they are a ten year old company LEADING the way to the next generation car... Oh yea, they are building the tools to also dominate the energy market of the future.
      SteveEV
      • 1 Year Ago
      I see no point in buying a new marginally better gas engine car every few years when I can just buy an EV now and keep it for a decade or more. Wake up Ford. In about ten years I may be looking to replace my EV and a gas engine will not make the cut.
        Ziv
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SteveEV
        You do realize how that post looks to someone that sells cars, don't you?
          purrpullberra
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ziv
          I hope it scares the BS out of them! Though car salespeople are ever flowing founts of BS so draining one would literally be impossible! But you know it doesn't scare Tesla, which shows who is going to win in the future. It's not Ford.
      Aaron
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hey Ford! Nissan is MAKING money on their EV. Maybe you've heard of it? The LEAF? No? Carry on...
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Aaron
        And it is a fabulous little car too. It's the perfect car for a big city like London.
          Dave
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          Its a useless car in London. If you want to get around London, you take the tube. The reason to have a car is to escape London.
          jeff
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          @Dave, Or a Leaf with the Chademo charger and a few more charging points...
      eric
      • 1 Year Ago
      There's no point in Ford trying to compete in the EV space if all they're going to do is produce a compliance car, based on an ICE chassis. In that sense, the UK guy is absolutely right. But they're going to lose their asses when EV/PHEV takes off over the next few years.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @eric
        The Ford Focus Electric is indeed an over-priced conversion kludge. But their Energi PHEVs are a decent start . . . they need to increase the battery size and do it without using up trunk space as they have been but I guess that is what they get when they made another 1/2 effort.
      Smoking_dude
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mark Ovenden, 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. The same discussion went on within BMW. Lots of managers were complaining, that they could make more SUVs or more similar gasoline cars. But still BMW managed to make the i3 and i8. Against lots of pressure from the old petrol heads. "we don't need EVs" "petrol will be there 4 ever" "we can make 3 new lineups with the money" now BMW mastered complete new technolgies. carbon fiber, electric motors and batteries. like toyota had to invest into the first prius cars it now pays of. I think that sadly this guy is short sighted. just go to the netherlands. there are EVs and PHEVs everywhere. flashy amperas, awesome teslas. there are thousands of plugs. and finally as ford recovered they come up with this BS
      Ele Truk
      • 1 Year Ago
      He's not wrong - today. But it's not very forward looking, and as long as Ford just wants to commit to ICE vehicles and only make compliance quantities, they will be behind. Ford makes most of their money on the ever popular F150 pickup, and if they keep to their current philosophy, Telsa will be the first company with the first practical EV pickup with 300+ miles range (and supercharger) and Ford will be left wondering "Where did we go wrong?"
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ele Truk
        It is a delicate balance. Invest unwisely into EVs and you can burn up a lot of money. But if you don't invest enough then all your competitors will get ahead of you, get all the patents, learn how to build them better, figure out optimizations, etc. . . . And then when EVs hit the big time because of a battery break-through, climate change legislation, a big price hike of gasoline costs, a war that causes gas prices to go up, etc. your company will fall way behind as everyone else beats you in the EV space and you are stuck with gas guzzler that no one wants.
      Level4
      • 1 Year Ago
      He is 100% right.....and the only reason we have EV in the states is because of the gov forcing them to sell EVs to the public in order to meet cafe....brilliant idea lol people dont want to buy EV oh hell just add regulation mandate forcing automakers to sell EV lol even tho they are bottom pits...
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Level4
        I'm so sorry you are so sadly misinformed. Maybe you are too young to remember the brown hazes that hung above any major city. Google pollution in China to get an idea. The government creates the rules to force manufacturers to build cars that don't slowly kill their citizens. It's just a small way to have them cover the cost of the overall damage their vehicles have created. Is it the perfect system? Of course not. Tesla and Nissan proves that if you make a reasonably compelling EV people will buy them.
          Dave
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          "Maybe you are too young to remember the brown hazes that hung above any major city." And those brown hazes were eliminated without BEVs. And the brown haze in China primarily comes from power plants, not cars. I know that you mean well, but your arguments are very flawed.
          jeff
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          Dave, we still have dangerous air quality in the summer in most urban areas. It has got better, but issue HAS NOT been resolved.... The BEV can resolve it....
          Dave
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          John B - You need to keep the voices in your head under control. You are making a lot of flawed and paranoid assumptions, rather than responding to the facts.
          John B
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          Pollution isn't going down Dave even if it looks like it to you and your oil based income. Talk about flawed thinking. Thanks for the oil tank viewpoint. I'm sure you mean well for them.
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