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Ford Asks Dealers To Press Pause On EV Investments

Ford has instructed its dealers to halt investments in the EV certification program while it tweaks the requirements

                                        https://www.carscoops.com/author/sam-d-smith/                                    

by Sam D. Smith

4 hours ago

 Ford Asks Dealers To Press Pause On EV Investments

  • Ford’s EV certification program has been paused as it asks dealers to hold off on investing in changes designed for EVs.
  • The decision stems from multiple meetings held with dealers around the country to discuss market concerns.
  • Ford aims to simplify and reduce complexity in its operations for electric vehicles.

Ford dealerships across America have been asked to pause their EV investments as the company makes last-minute changes to its electric vehicle certification program. The alterations are being made following feedback from several nationwide meetings that were held with Ford’s dealers. The talks were aimed to address and discuss dealers’ concerns amidst a rapidly changing EV market.

Eleven meetings were held across the country, in six cities, with the participation of an estimated 1,000 Ford dealers. One concern raised was the heavy investment that the Blue Oval requires for dealerships to sell EVs, with some having to cough up $500,000 for training and equipment.

Read: Ford Delays Three-Row EV SUV To Launch ‘Secret’ $25k EV By 2026

Earlier it was reported that many dealers were reluctant to sign up for the Model E program, with only about half nationwide making the commitment for 2024.

Dealers who committed to the program were required to complete work in the coming weeks. However, the new directive from the top asks enrollees to postpone financial commitments while the program is altered. The company plans to announce these changes in June.

Speaking to Autonews, Andrew Frick, president of Ford Blue, said that the company had a lot to review. “We don’t want [dealers] to make any decisions between now and the middle of June when you can maybe have a more informed decision-making process based on what we work out with council in the next few weeks.”

 Ford Asks Dealers To Press Pause On EV Investments

Beyond the EV program, Ford plans to implement immediate, near-term, and long-term changes in response to dealer feedback. These changes aim to simplify and reduce complexity in various business aspects, such as floorplan assistance and Ford Credit policies. CEO Jim Farley and his executive team are said to have participated in all meetings.

“What was great is that we had candid conversations around every aspect of the business,” Frick remarked. The meetings also aimed to improve dealer communications amid concerns over EVs, warranty costs, and other issues. An internal survey revealed that 93 percent of dealers left the meetings more confident in the brand.

The review of Ford’s way forward with dealers is likely in response to the company’s own actions. Over the last few months, Ford has been putting the brakes on its EV expansion and is concerned about the slowing demand for EVs.

The Blue Oval took several steps to taper the EV boom, including downsizing a battery factory under construction, reducing EV spending, and revising its EV production goals for 2024. They also delayed a three-row crossover it had planned to offer to the public in early 2025 and plans for a new electric pickup, shifting focus to providing more affordable all-electric options.

 Ford Asks Dealers To Press Pause On EV Investments

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