Half of Ford dealers won’t commit to EV program, will stick to ICE and hybrids for now

(Credit: Ford)

Ford’s transition into the electric vehicle age does not seem to be going as smoothly as company executives expected. As per recent reports, a significant portion of Ford’s US dealership network is opting out of the automaker’s aggressive electric vehicle push. This means that about half of Ford dealers have opted to sell just combustion-powered and hybrid cars this coming 2024. 

Last year, CEO Jim Farley noted that Ford had secured commitments from about two out of three dealers for the company’s “Model e” program. Since then, only 50% of Ford’s 3,100 dealerships have signed up for the EV initiative. This effectively left about 1,550 dealerships without access to Ford’s electric offerings. This was confirmed by Ford spokesperson Marty Gunsberg in a comment to the Detroit Free Press

“EV adoption rates vary across the country, and we believe our dealers know their market best. As Ford dealers have completed their own local market assessments, enrollments for 2024 are just over 50% of the network, placing 86% of the population within 20 miles of a Ford dealership that can sell and service a Ford EV,” Gunsberg noted. He also noted that some dealers withdrew from the Model e program. 

Dealers opting in for the Model e program are required to make notable investments. Ford initially required dealers to invest between $500,000 and $1.2 million for EV charging infrastructure, which was required for dealers who wished to sell EVs. The move sparked significant dealer backlash, and some lawsuits were actually filed. The automaker has since softened its stance, reducing the required number of charging stations and lowering overall costs.

The reaction of Ford’s dealers to the Model e program does not seem to be an isolated case. Recent reports also indicated that General Motors, Ford’s biggest rival, is dealing with a similar situation with its Buick brand. Nearly half of Buick dealerships, which number about 1,000, have opted out of GM’s all-electric plans, choosing instead to part ways with the automaker.

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Half of Ford dealers won’t commit to EV program, will stick to ICE and hybrids for now
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