Ford is in the middle of transitioning to an EV company. However, its treatment of dealerships that want to sell EVs has become a cause for concern for lawmakers in the US.
Senator Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut slammed Ford’s EV certification program, labeling it an “egregious treatment” of dealers. He wants to request the Federal Trade Commission, FTC, and state authorities to investigate the automaker for possible violations of franchise laws.
“I’m convinced there’s a case that needs to be investigated here,” Blumenthal said. “I just think Ford is making a terrible mistake here if it persists in this approach.” (via Auto News)
Apart from Blumenthal, a bipartisan group of Connecticut state lawmakers has criticized Ford’s program. This criticism was delivered at a press conference that included a high-ranking Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association member.
The group also called on Ford to extend its December 2nd deadline for dealers to join its EV certification program, which may see dealers spending up to $1.2 million to qualify.
Ford, however, has said it would not extend the deadline for the second time. It released a statement saying, “The voluntary program empowers our dealers on when and how to enroll and we understand that some dealers operating in markets with limited EV penetration may chose not to enroll in this round. For these dealers, Ford is offering a second entry point in 2025 as Ford’s EV production scales rapidly. We are confident that we will have sufficient dealer enrollments for this round to serve our customers nationally.”
Ford also defended its program, claiming it consulted with over 400 dealers while creating it.
Ford became the second-best EV brand in November, behind Tesla, despite reporting declining sales.