After announcing a controversial electric vehicle certification program this September, Ford revealed this week that only 65% of its dealership body agreed to the new EV rules.
The automaker has faced pressure from many facets of the auto-community to change the new ruleset, even garnering the attention of lawmakers, such as Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, who suggested the company may be violating FTC regulations.
Among other things, Ford’s EV rules require substantial investments from franchised dealers. Those who agreed to participate would need to send a $500,000 to $1 million investment, and install expensive charging-infrastructure at their facilities. Critics of the policies noted that the EV market in certain states lagged far behind the rest of the nation, meaning many would receive little to no return on investment until consumer interest grew. Perhaps the most hotly criticized portion of Ford’s program was its warning to dissenting retailers that they would be restricted from selling its EV models until 2027.
Meanwhile, automaker has maintained that its new EV rules are necessary to ensure the company stays competitive during the EV transition. Several manufacturers expect the electric car market to be profitable by 2025, and that gas-powered vehicles will soon be abandoned. However, Ford’s competitors seem to have largely avoided confrontations with their dealers. Some brands, such as Nissan, have announced initiatives to make the transition easier for their retailers.
This Monday, Ford finished tallying its numbers, and determined that 1,920 of its roughly 3,000 dealerships had agreed to the EV rules. This means that a third of its retailers will be unable to sell EVs until the latter half of the decade.
Speaking at the Automotive News Congress on Monday, Ford CEO Jim Farley defended the policy, saying, “There’s always a better way…But I don’t think we made, really, any big mistakes.”
Did you enjoy this article? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic by connecting with us at email@example.com.