Ford’s EV dealer program faces exodus as 400 dealers opt out

Ford’s Model e Certified program, aimed at spearheading the brand’s electric vehicle (EV) revolution, is facing another setback, as nearly 400 US dealers that opted into the program are now backing out.

Initially, 1,920 dealers joined the program almost a year ago, or about two-thirds of all dealers across the US. Of those 1,659 opted for the higher-tier “Certified Elite” level, and the remaining 261 chose the “Certified” tier. Now according to Automotive News reporter Michael Martinez, that number has dropped significantly.

According to Martinez, Ford also plans to establish retail replenishment centers where Certified Elite dealers can replenish their stock. The automaker aims to minimize EV inventory at dealership lots, a move aligned with its revised strategy and cost-cutting measures. (via Ford Authority)

This isn’t the first hurdle the Model e program has faced, having encountered backlash and legal challenges from dealers and regulatory bodies alike. As we reported last week, Illinois’ motor vehicle board ruled against Ford, stating that the automaker violated state laws by imposing hefty investments on dealers for the privilege of selling EVs.

In response to the criticism and legal battles, Ford has made substantial revisions to the Model e Certified program. The automaker reduced the number of required Level 2 chargers, extended installation deadlines, and halved training costs to address concerns raised by the dealers. Despite these adjustments, around 400 dealers have still chosen to exit the program.

This news follows Ford’s recent decision to delay or cancel approximately $12 billion in planned investments in EVs due to declining demand. The company’s reevaluation of its commitment to EVs also involves downsizing the BlueOval Battery Park Michigan site and utilizing only one of the two battery plants under construction at BlueOval SK Battery Park in Kentucky.

Ford Canada rejigs Model e program after Canadian dealership concerns

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