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Ford cuts price of 2014 electric Focus by 10 percent

The Ford logo is pictured on the rooftop of Austria's Ford head branch in Vienna March 19, 2013. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader
The Ford logo is pictured on the rooftop of Austria's Ford head branch in Vienna March 19, 2013. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

By Deepa Seetharaman

DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co. will reduce the price of its 2014 Focus Electric compact car by 10 percent, the latest in a series of price cuts by major automakers on their battery-powered cars.

The 2014 Focus Electric, which will reach dealerships in the next few weeks, will have a starting price of $35,200, Ford spokeswoman Amanda Zusman said. That is down $4,000 from the $39,200 base price on the 2013 model.

The new price, which excludes government credits and other charges, will keep Ford's first electric passenger car "competitive" in the market, Zusman said.

Since the model's launch last year, Ford has built 2,517 Focus electric cars and sold about 1,593. During the first six months of 2013, Ford sold 900 of the cars.

So far this year, General Motors Co. and Nissan Motor Co. have also taken steps to make their electric and plug-in cars more affordable as others pile into the segment with new models.

Last month, GM announced it would offer incentives of up to $5,000 on the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, which starts at nearly $40,000 before federal and state tax credits.

Earlier this year, Nissan dropped the U.S. price of its 2013 Leaf electric vehicle by more than $6,000, bringing its base price to below $30,000.

U.S. regulators are pressuring automakers to boost the fuel economy of their lineups by 50 percent over the next dozen years. But sales have struggled for a range of issues, including a lack of charging infrastructure for plug-in vehicles.

Sales of electric and plug-in cars more than doubled during the first six months of the year, according to hybridcars.com, which tracks "green" car sales. But they accounted for less than 1 percent of overall U.S. auto sales.

(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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