Ford dealers step in.
At least two out of three people do.
In September, Ford announced a new plan that would require dealers to either apply for certification to sell their electric models or choose to focus solely on internal combustion engine vehicles.
The top-of-the-line elite tier required an investment of around $1.2 million, which included two to three fast charging stations, which would have given them the right to keep demo units in stock, while two tiers were offered with a standard tier requiring only one charger. but it doesn’t offer demos and is limited to 25 EV sales, costing around $500,000 per year.
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Ford CEO Jim Farley said at the time that the company understood that the EV space was still developing, and that some dealers may not be able to establish a business justification for it at this time.
Resellers had until December 2 to enroll in a program window that runs from January 1, 2024 to the end of 2026. A second opportunity to participate will be offered before the next window in 2027.
Farley confirmed on Twitter that 1,920 dealers have signed up, representing about 65% of the Ford network. He explained to Automotive News that the division is 1,659 elite and 261 standard.
“The Volunteer Model e EV Dealer Program shows why @Ford is betting big on dealers. Working together we will become the center of innovation and growth and bring new value to customers and our Dealers,” Farley tweeted.
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Ford has recently split the company into three operational divisions, Model e, which focuses on electric vehicles, Ford Blue, which is responsible for internal combustion engine and hybrid models, and Ford Pro, which manages its commercial and fleet business.
Two dealer groups in New York and Illinois filed suit against the certification scheme for violating state franchise laws. Farley said he believes this is legal and wants to continue working with dealers on the implementation of the program.
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“There is always a better way,” he said. “But I really don’t think we made big mistakes.”