DETROIT – About 65% of Ford Engines Dealers have agreed to sell electric vehicles as the company invests billions to expand production and sales of battery-powered cars and trucks, CEO Jim Farley said Monday.
According to Farley, about 1,920 of the nearly 3,000 Ford dealerships in the US agreed to sell EVs. He said about 80% of those dealers opted for the higher investment level for electric cars.
Ford offered its dealers the option to become “EV certified” under one of two programs – with expected investments of $500,000 or $1.2 million. Dealers in the higher tier, with an initial cost of $900,000, receive “elite” certification and are assigned more EVs.
Ford, unlike crosstown rival General engines, allows dealers to refrain from selling EVs and continue to sell the company’s cars. GM has offered buyouts to Buick and Cadillac dealers who don’t want to invest to sell EVs.
Dealers who have decided not to invest in EVs will be able to do so when Ford reopens the certification process in 2027.
“We think EV adoption in the US will take time, so we wanted to give dealers a chance to come back,” Farley said at an Automotive News conference.
Ford’s plans to sell EVs have been a bone of contention since the company spun off its all-electric vehicle business into a separate division known as Model e earlier this year. Farley said the automaker and its dealers needed to reduce costs, increase profits and provide better, more consistent sales experiences for customers.
Farley also reiterated Monday that a direct sales model is estimated to be thousands of dollars cheaper for the automaker than the auto industry’s traditional franchise system.
Wall Street analysts have largely viewed direct-to-consumer sales as an asset to optimize profits. However, there are growing pains for it Teslathat uses the sales model when it comes to servicing its vehicles.
Ford’s current range of fully electric vehicles includes the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup, the Mustang Mach-E crossover and the e-Transit van. The automaker is expected to release a litany of other electric cars worldwide as part of a plan to invest tens of billions of dollars in the technologies by 2026.