Ford asks dealers to pause EV investments with changes to its EV program coming

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With changes to its EV certification program coming soon, Ford is asking dealers to pause investments. Ford plans to update dealers on new changes amid a “rapidly changing EV market.”

After CEO Jim Farley revealed that 1,920 dealers will join its EV sales program in December 2022, Ford has made several changes to its own electric vehicle plans.

Ford spokesperson Marty Gunsberg confirmed this past December that several dealers have opted out of the program. “Enrollments for 2024 are just over 50% of the network,” down from about two-thirds a year prior.

Citing “changes in the market,” Ford eased requirements last year. The changes included fewer L2 chargers and an extension to install them.

According to Andrew Frick, president of Ford Blue, the company’s ICE portfolio, you can expect more changes soon.

Frick told Automotive News, “There’s a lot that we’ll be reviewing.” Ford plans to meet with its dealer council early next month to finalize updates based on feedback from nationwide gatherings.

2024 Ford F-150 Lightning Flash (Source: Ford)

Ford tells dealers to pause EV investments amid changes

In the meantime, Ford has asked dealers to pause investments in its EV certification program as new changes are implemented. Dealers were expected to meet certain EV charging requirements soon, but Ford is pushing back financial commitments.

“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,” Frick explained.

Ford Mustang Mach-E (Source: Ford)

One of the biggest concerns among dealers is the “rapidly changing EV market,” according to Frick. With Ford delaying EV plans and shifting focus toward smaller, more profitable EVs, the company looks to align its dealer network.

Frisk didn’t provide specifics but said the dealer council and executives were on the same page. “I think we’re both pretty aligned on the process based on what we heard,” he explained.

Ford F-150 Lightning production (Source: Ford)

The news comes after Ford asked suppliers for ideas on how to cut EV costs this week. Ford’s Model e (EV) unit lost $1.3 billion in Q1 after posting a $4.7 billion loss last year. Ford expects its EV business to lose around $5.5 billion this year.

Farley stressed that Model e needs to “stand on its own.” Ford expects next-gen EVs to be profitable within 12 months of launching. In the meantime, Ford plans to introduce more hybrids as it works to develop profitable EVs.

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