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Ford To Ditch EV Certification, Open Up Sales to All Dealers, Says Report

  • Ford asked dealers that had signed up to its EV certification program to pause investments.
  • New report indicates that the company plans to open EV sales to its entire U.S. retail network.
  • The changes stem from feedback during a series of in-person meetings between Ford executives and dealers.

After informing dealers that had signed up to its electric vehicle program to pause investments, it appears that Ford is on track to allow any dealer to sell EVs, removing restrictions and investment requirements it had imposed earlier. It could be the latest move from the company that has revised its expectations on electric vehicles, with slowing sales and an evolving marketplace cited as reasons.

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Two years ago, the company required dealerships that wanted to sell EVs to invest as much as $1.2 million in an EV certification program. It was understood that dealerships that chose not to do so would not be allowed to sell Ford EVs, which naturally caused an outcry among those who didn’t want to pour a significant amount of money in the added training and infrastructure.

Read: Ford Asks Dealers To Press Pause On EV Investments

The approach led to pushback from state dealer associations and lawsuits, arguing that Ford could not legally restrict specific dealers from selling some of its products.

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Meanwhile, Ford has been putting the brakes on its EV expansion and is concerned about the slowing demand. Last year, they announced that they were downsizing a battery factory already under construction.

Subsequent announcements highlighted the need to reduce EV spending while the company revised 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 To Ditch EV Certification, Open Up Sales to All Dealers, Says Report

A series of in-person meetings was held around the U.S. between dealers and Ford executives. It’s understood that Ford CEO Jim Farley was a direct participant in these meetings. Following feedback, it’s reported that Ford plans to reopen EV sales to its entire U.S. retail network rather than limiting it to stores.

Ford aims to balance the interests of dealers who have already made significant investments with the need to lower entry barriers for new participants.

Speaking to Auto News, Lisa Drake, vice president of EV programs and energy supply chain, noted: “What we’re finding is more dealers want to be involved in it, and we don’t want to be exclusive to just a handful. We’ll be more ubiquitous with our training and make sure essentially all of our dealers are equipped to sell them.”

 Ford To Ditch EV Certification, Open Up Sales to All Dealers, Says Report

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