Ford pushes back deadline for dealers to decide on EV spending | Rare Techy
DETROIT – Ford Motor Co . is giving its dealers an extra month to decide whether they’re willing to invest up to $1.2 million and comply with other new standards the automaker is imposing so they can sell electric vehicles after next year.
Ford spokesman Marty Gunsberg said the Oct. 31 deadline has been pushed back to Dec. 2 because some retailers asked for more time to make a decision.
“We value our relationships with dealers and have decided to grant additional time to dealers who have not yet decided or requested additional time,” Gunsberg said in a statement.
He declined to say how many dealers have already signed up, saying Ford will provide the data after the registration period ends.
The new deadline more closely aligns with the Dec. 15 deadline Lincoln dealers face for a similar program that calls for up to $900 million in investments. Dealers who sell both brands should invest in each program.
Ford’s standards are divided into two tiers with varying levels of investment in fast chargers and employee training. Dealers who opt for the lower dollar amount are limited in the number of EVs they can sell.
Dealers who do not innovate are limited to selling Ford brand internal combustion engines and hybrids.
The ban on electric vehicle sales has been defeated by some state dealer associations, which say it violates state law. The Virginia Automobile Dealers Association sent a letter to Ford CEO Jim Farley and other executives earlier this month asking them to reconsider the program and revise the rules.
Separately, a group of auto industry leaders representing unions in Virginia and 11 other southern states asked Ford this week to “reexamine the Ford Model e program as currently described,” saying it “includes unreasonable restrictions on dealer autonomy.” Model e is the name of the EV division that Farley created this year and leads as president.
New sales standards require dealers to set non-negotiable prices for electric vehicles. Those who choose the lower-priced certification level are not allowed to carry any EVs in stock, as their customers must order exactly what they want for delivery at a later date.
Ford has said that each of its roughly 3,000 U.S. dealers can choose to accept the standards, and that it will not force anyone to do so.
Dealers who have joined can sell certified electric vehicles from January 1, 2024 until the end of 2026. Those who don’t have a new chance to get certified to sell electric vehicles starting in 2027, but again aren’t required to do so to keep their franchise, officials said.