Ford dealers to pause EV program as company mulls over changes

Credit: Jim Farley | X

Ford has begun asking its dealerships to put a pause on making investments toward its electric vehicle (EV) certification program, until it’s able to discuss and make additional changes to the program at an upcoming meeting.

The automaker’s dealership council will host a meeting about the EV certification program in June, as detailed in a Tuesday report from Automotive News. During the meeting, the council plans to utilize recent feedback from a country-wide dealership tour from Ford CEO Jim Farley, in which the company sought individualized feedback from its retailer network.

“We don’t want them to make any decisions between now and the middle of June, when you can maybe have a more informed decision-making process based off what we work out with council in the next few weeks,” said Andrew Frick, Ford Blue President. “There’s a lot that we’ll be reviewing.”

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The recent tour included 11 meetings with around 1,000 different dealers, discussing several topics including the “rapidly changing EV market,” according to Frick. While he didn’t disclose specific changes to the plan, Frick said executives and the council were generally in agreement following the meetings.

The dealership meetings were also geared toward making communications better and aiding trust levels amidst the transition to EVs. Frick notes that around 93 percent of the dealers represented at the meetings departed feeling more confident in Ford’s brand going forward, according to an internal survey.

“I think we’re both pretty aligned on the process based on what we heard,” Frick added. “I expect to see some changes coming out of it.”

In addition to looking at the Ford EV certification program, Frick says the company will look at other areas of the business

“Our plans are really aimed at simplifying and reducing complexity,” Frick added. “We’re going to look at everything from floorplan assistance to our commitment to longer-term remote experiences, our Model e standards and Ford Credit policies.”

Ford has been struggling to make its EV arm profitable, with its recent financials showing that it lost over $100,000 per EV sold in the first quarter. Despite some slowed forecasts for this year, however, Ford says it’s still developing future EVs and it’s aiming for increased affordability for a rumored, next-gen electric pickup.

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Ford dealers to pause EV program as company mulls over changes
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