Ford Dealers Asked to Pause Further EV Investments While It Reviews Model e Program

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Ford’s EV transition hasn’t been the easiest, but the automaker isn’t the only one in its orbit feeling the heat. The Blue Oval recently asked its suppliers to help it cut costs and announced early on that its dealers would need to make significant investments to continue selling its electric models. Now, the company is telling dealers to pause further investments while it reviews the requirements of its EV certification program.

Dealers wanting to sell Ford EVs under the Model e certification had until June 30 to install Level 2 charging stations, but the automaker’s review is expected to extend through that month. Ford had pulled back on some of the Model e requirements late last year and announced the delay of its three-row electric SUV by two years amid slowing EV demand growth.

Ford CEO Jim Farley was at every one of the 11 meetings, which more than 1,000 dealers attended. Stores were initially asked to have five Level 2 chargers to become certified, but the company’s late 2023 changes cut that number to two. The “elite” program required five Level 3 chargers at the start, but Ford cut that number to three. Employee training benchmarks were also eased as part of the shift.

Though around half of the automaker’s dealer network is enrolled in the program, Ford’s Model e business is on track to lose more than $5 billion this year. It’s now working to regain dealers’ trust, as the program was met with significant pushback, and buyers haven’t been as eager to hop on the EV train as many had hoped.

[Images: Woodsnorthphoto, AroundtheWorldPhotos, Tada Images via Shutterstock]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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  • Daniel Bridger Daniel Bridger on May 23, 2024

    When Biden yells "jump" and CEOs ask how high? No common sense anymore.

    • See 1 previous
    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on May 23, 2024

      In Amerika, all roads lead to Fedgov.

  • Duties Duties on May 23, 2024

    Imagine we lived in a world where all cars were EV's. And then along comes a new invention: the Internal Combustion Engine.

    Think how well they would sell. A vehicle HALF the weight, HALF the price that would cause only a quarter of the damage to the road. A vehicle that could be refueled in 1/10th the time, with a range of 4 times the distance in all weather conditions. One that does not rely on the environmentally damaging use of non-renewable rare earth elements to power it, and uses far less steel and other materials. A vehicle that could carry and tow far heavier loads. And is less likely to explode in your garage in the middle of the night and burn down your house with you in it. And ran on an energy source that is readily extracted with hundreds of years known supply.

    Just think how excited people would be for such technology. It would sell like hot cakes, with no tax credits! Whaddaya think? I'd buy one.

  • 3-On-The-Tree I don’t think Toyotas going down.
  • ToolGuy Random thoughts (bulleted list because it should work on this page):• Carlos Tavares is a very smart individual.• I get the sense that the western hemisphere portion of Stellantis was even more messed up than he originally believed (I have no data), which is why the plan (old plan, original plan) has taken longer than expected (longer than I expected).• All the OEMs who have taken a serious look at what is happening with EVs in China have had to take a step back and reassess (oversimplification: they were thinking mostly business-as-usual with some tweaks here and there, and now realize they have bigger issues, much bigger, really big).• You (dear TTAC reader) aren't ready to hear this yet, but the EV thing is a tsunami (the thing has already done the thing, just hasn't reached you yet). I hesitate to even tell you, but it is the truth.
  • ToolGuy ¶ I have kicked around doing an engine rebuild at some point (I never have on an automobile); right now my interest level in that is pretty low, say 2/5.¶ It could be interesting to do an engine swap at some point (also haven't done that), call that 2/5 as well.¶ Building a kit car would be interesting but a big commitment, let's say 1/5 realistically.¶ Frame-up restoration, very little interest, 1/5.¶ I have repainted a vehicle (down to bare metal) and that was interesting/engaging (didn't have the right facilities, but made it work, sort of lol).¶ Taking a vehicle which I like where the ICE has given out and converting it to EV sounds engaging and appealing. Would not do it anytime soon, maybe 3 to 5 years out. Current interest level 4/5.¶ Building my own car (from scratch) would have some significant hurdles. Unless I started my own car company, which might involve other hurdles. 😉
  • Rover Sig "Value" is what people perceive as its worth. What is the worth or value of an EV somebody creates out of a used car? People value different things, but for a vehicle, people generally ascribe worth in terms of reliability, maintainability, safety, appearance and style, utility (payload, range, etc.), convenience, operating cost, projected life, support network, etc. "Value for money" means how much worth would people think it had compared to competing vehicles on the market, in other words, would it be a good deal to buy one, compared to other vehicles one could get? Consider what price you would have to ask for it, including the parts and labor you put into it, because that would affect the “for the money” part of the “value for money” calculation. An indicator of whether people think an EV-built-in-a-used-car would provide "value for money" is the current level of demand for used cars turned into EVs. Are there a lot of people looking for these on the market? Or would building one just be a hobby? Repairing an existing EV, bringing it back into spec, might create better value for the money. Although demand for EVs is reportedly down recently.
  • ToolGuy Those of you who aren't listening to the TTAC Podcast, you really don't know what you are missing.