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Ford Launches Plug-n-Play Focus Electric on Facebook

Charging across the country with new online game.

by on Apr.12, 2012

Ford will let Facebook friends plug-n-play with a new game based on the Focus Electric.

According to a recent study we reported on TheDetroitBureau.com earlier in the week, young folks are waiting longer than ever to get their driver’s licenses – and one reason, said the researchers, is that they’re apparently too busy online.

So, no wonder Ford has decided to launch what you might call the plug-n-play version of the maker’s new Focus Electric, an online game that will allow virtual drivers to take a digital road trip with their BFFs – in this case, their Best Facebook Friends.

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“This is a great way for consumers to both have fun and learn about the new Focus Electric at the same time,” said Chad D’Arcy, Focus Electric marketing manager. “We want to offer people the opportunity to experience the car now, especially those on Facebook who have supported us for so long.”

Dubbed “Plug N Play in Electric City with the 2012 Focus Electric,” the game allows up to five people to take a trip in the battery version of Ford’s compact sedan.  The maker is betting it’s a good way to spread the word about the Focus Electric which officially went on sale in California last December – though it is only beginning to be rolled out now in any real volume.

Those are short trips, by the way, considering the Focus Electric will get less than 100 miles on a charge, according to the EPA – which gives the battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, a 105 MPGe (miles-per-gallon-equivalent) rating.

But the Facebook-based game works with Mapquest and lets users effectively ping-pong their way across the map by figuring out how to get from one charging station to another.

(Click Here to check out the Ford Focue Electric Facebook page.)

Ford has been betting heavily on the use of social media to target young buyers – who are not only less likely to rush out and get a car but who put more of a premium on connected vehicle technology than traditional features like high-performance engines.

The maker has sponsored several reality show programs based on the “great race” theme, and is now casting for participants in Yahoo’s first competition, “Plugged In.”  Winners will get a Focus Electric.

“Social networking allows Ford to meet customers it might not connect with through traditional advertising, making it easier to open a dialogue with a whole new audience,” said D’Arcy.

By mid-year, Ford expects to be selling the Focus Electric in California, New Jersey and New York.  As it expands production at the Michigan Assembly Plant in suburban Detroit it will grow that to 19 different markets across the U.S. by the end of 2012.

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