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Ford Tells Dealerships To Halt EV Investments, Move Comes As Part of Internal Review

by | May 22, 2024

Ford is telling dealerships to stop EV investments as it undertakes a review of internal certification process.

Ford Mustang Mach-E at Tesla Supercharger

Ford is telling dealerships to pause EV related investments

Investing in electric vehicles requires a lot of time and money to ensure that automakers and their dealer networks are prepared to give these customers the sales and service experience that they need to help make them long-term EV loyalists. Many automakers are encouraging this by helping dealerships make the necessary upgrades to their facilities to accommodate these vehicles.

Ford was one of these automakers but it’s temporarily changing course and telling its dealerships to pause investment in EVs as the firm conducts an internal review of the process surrounding this plan after receiving feedback from dealer representatives that prompted them to re-evaluate how the process would work.

Ford takes note from dealerships

Ford is re-evaluating the Model e Certification program after feedback from dealerships

Prior to this announcement, the American automaker had given its dealerships until June 30th to invest in Level 2 charging stations to help them comply with its Model e Certfication program which would allow them to sell Ford’s lineup of EV vehicles. However, Ford has seen various aspects of this plan change recently with the company recently confirming that it pushed forward the launch of a three-row EV SUV by two years.

The proverbial straw that finally broke Ford’s back was a recent “Dealer Engagement Tour” that Ford execs completed with the event allowing Ford to hear from over 1,000 dealerships in 11 different meetings across the entire United States. “We’re now in the process of reviewing all that collaborative engagement and turning it into immediate, mid-term and long-term changes where it makes sense for our customers, our Dealers and Ford,” spokesperson Marty Günsberg said in a statement. “We will have more specific details to share in a few weeks.

Resolving these issues is paramount since dealerships are the public face of any automaker and issues that customers and the dealerships themselves face in the EV sales race will ultimately affect the automaker as a whole. The delay and Ford’s subsequent review will give smaller dealerships more time to develop a plan to comply with the Model e Certification program once Ford tells them to resume their investments. Model e has already seen plenty of changes when it comes to the core requirements dealerships must abide by with the number of Level 2 charging stations on site being reduced and a separate Level 3 station requirement also being scrubbed due to dealer pushback.

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In addition to launching an internal review of the Model e program and delaying some EV projects, Ford is also adjusting to changing market pressures in the EV segment. That includes a separate delay in acting on $12 billion in EV-related spending and a renewed commitment towards making hybrid vehicles as the company attempts to give consumers an affordable bridge between a traditional ICE vehicle and a pure EV versus making them dive headfirst into an EV.

This commitment to hybrids in particular will satisfy dealerships who are working with less space in their inventory lots due to them becoming clogged with unsold electric vehicles. As a result, some inventory managers are currently reducing the amount of EV vehicles that they are taking into inventory to free up space. Adding more hybrid models will help resolve some of the lot space issues these dealerships are experiencing while also providing a stable flow of profits to their bottom line due to a higher percentage of customers being more comfortable with the balance a hybrid brings versus EVs which require them to alter their driving habits and learn some of the quirks that often come with EV ownership.


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