Ford Cancels Controversial EV Dealership Program Amid Slowing Sales


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Ford Motor Company is halting its contentious electric vehicle (EV) dealership program, which initially required store owners to invest over $1 million to sell EVs.

Background of the EV-Certified Program

The “EV-certified” program was unveiled in September 2022 by Ford CEO Jim Farley in response to high demand for EVs, limited supplies, and industry-wide optimism for all-electric vehicles. However, the expected surge in EV popularity has not materialized as anticipated.

Slow Growth in EV Sales

While EV sales for Ford and other automakers are increasing, the growth rate is much slower than predicted. This sluggish pace has prompted many automakers to delay or cancel future electric vehicle models and related investments.

Market Changes and Program Termination

“The world has changed,” stated Marin Gjaja, chief operating officer of Ford’s Model E electric vehicle division, during a media briefing on Thursday. “The growth has slowed down.”

Gjaja announced that the Model e Dealership Program, which included participation from about half of Ford’s 2,800 U.S. dealers, is being phased out due to evolving market conditions and discussions with dealers. The program had also faced legal challenges from some dealers.

Opening EV Sales to All Dealers

In place of the previous program, Ford will now open EV sales to all its dealers in an effort to boost sales of its all-electric cars and trucks.

“This approach allows us to expand EV sales and service to more dealers,” Gjaja said. “We believe this will help us grow our sales.”

Reduced Investment Requirements

Although dealers will still need to invest in charging infrastructure, training, and other EV-related expenses, the required investment will be significantly lower than under the previous program, which ranged from $500,000 to $1.2 million.

Gjaja noted that the initial investment estimates were high. Dealers who fully participated in the program invested around $600,000 on average.

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