Ford Graciously Gives Dealers More Time To Commit to EV Sales Certification or Else

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The company has extended the deadline for dealers on the fence from October 31 to December 2 while Lincoln dealers have until December 15.
Ford sent shock waves throughout their network of over 3,000 dealers this last September at the company's national dealer meeting with CEO Jim Farley announcing that dealers who wish to sell Ford electric vehicles must go through a certification process that includes a sizable investment.

The program is seen by many dealers as an ultimatum where they will need to commit a significant amount of money to qualify to sell in Ford's new Model e program. The standards the Ford Model e program has established require dealers to set nonnegotiable prices for Ford electric vehicles in addition to establishing charging infrastructure at their respective locations.

The program has two levels of certification - Certified and Certified Elite. Those dealers who choose the Certified route will be required to pony up an initial investment of approximately $500,000 (501,775 euro) and will not be permitted to maintain an onsite electric vehicle inventory. They can, however, sell built-to-order cars to be delivered at a later date, but will be limited on the number of cars they can sell.

In order to be Certified Elite, dealers will need to invest an initial $1.2 million (1.2 million euros) to qualify to have onsite inventory, demo units, and visibility on Ford's website.

Dealers who do not participate in the program will be limited to selling gas-powered and hybrid Ford vehicles.

At present, there are two entry points for dealers to get on board; the first is January 1, 2024, lasting until the end of 2026 and January 2027. Ford states that involvement in the program is not a condition for dealers to retain their franchises.

Ford has received backlash from a group of automotive trade executives from 12 states arguing that the program “includes unreasonable restrictions on dealer autonomy”, according to Automotive News.

Ford will use about 90% of dealers' investment to build charging infrastructure to allow dealers to be part of the Blue Oval Charge Network Map with dealers owning and earning revenue from chargers.
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