Ford is facing a huge revolt after making one wrong move with electric vehicles

Jun 24, 2024

Ford vowed that it was going to switch its entire vehicle lineup to electric.

Now the Detroit automaker is dealing with an angry mob over that decision.

And Ford is facing a huge revolt after making one wrong move with electric vehicles.

Ford dealerships angry over electric vehicle investments

The Ford Motor Company bought into President Joe Biden’s ambitious plan to make the automotive industry electric.

Ford set an ambitious goal of having half of its vehicle sales be electric by 2032.

That required a massive change in how the company did business and operated from top to bottom.

Ford’s nationwide network of dealerships is the public face of the Detroit automaker.

Dealers were required to make a major upfront investment by Ford to become certified to sell electric vehicles.

This was part of Ford’s strategy to compete with electric vehicle makers like Tesla, Rivan, and Lucid.

Electric vehicle makers like Tesla do most of their business online and don’t have dealerships, instead using direct to consumer sales.

Ford thought it could leverage its dealership network by having everything under one roof.

Customers could buy an electric vehicle, service it, and charge it at a Ford dealer.

Ford set up its Model e dealer certification program as a requirement for dealerships to sell electric vehicles.

Dealers knew that Ford claimed the future of the company was selling electric vehicles.

Not signing up for the program put a dealership in the position of being left behind as the automaker phased electric vehicles.

They could choose between two certification levels offered by Ford.

“Dealers that wanted to be a Model e Certified dealer needed to invest up to $500,000 in training and charging equipment, while those that opted to be a Model e Certified Elite dealer were looking at an investment of up to $1.2 million,” The Street reported.

That meant a costly upfront investment if they wanted to be a part of what the automaker claimed was the future of the company.

Now Ford is pulling the plug on its certification as the company hemorrhages money on electric vehicles and sales grind to a halt.

Ford dealers were required to invest a million dollars for no reason

Ford’s ambitious electric vehicle plans are being readjusted as the demand for them collapses.

The automaker is losing $132,000 on every electric vehicle it sold in the first quarter this year.

Dealers are watching them pile up on their lots, unsold.

Ford Model e COO Marin Gjaja said the changing electric vehicle market caused the company to dump its certification program.

“At this point, we’re basically saying we want to lower the bar to let people get in,” Gjaja told AutoNews. “We’ll probably have to continue to evolve from here, but we wanted to get everyone in because what we’re seeing is a market that is evolving and the customer needs support. We’d rather have more dealers in helping us with that.”

Dealerships are upset that they made a big out-of-pocket investment that they didn’t need to for a product that isn’t selling.

Village Ford owner Jim Seavitt said that Ford needs to make it right with dealers who paid for the certification.

“Given the number of EVs we have sold and will sell in the next year, it’s overkill,” Seavitt told The Detroit News. “I thought I had to do it to sell electric. Those that didn’t do it got off the hook. They have to make that part of it right.”

Ford’s dealers are paying the price for the foolish decisions of the automaker’s leadership.

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