Everything costs more money these days, and that’s especially true when it comes to the automotive market. Due to the rise in demand and a short supply of electric vehicles, we’ve seen dealer markups and price gouging getting out of control. Now, Ford has a plan to stop it.
Update, 11/1/22: According to Automotive News, Ford dealerships now have until December 2nd to decide if they want to invest in and sell EVs on their lots. Dealers must opt-in, train staff, and add chargers. Otherwise, it can’t sell Ford’s new electric vehicles.
Update, 3/20/23: Dozens of Ford dealerships have opted out of the “Model e Certified” program and won’t be able to sell EVs on lots. According to InsideEVs, 46 Ford dealers in North Carolina alone are filing a legal challenge, claiming they shouldn’t have to pay to sell vehicles they’re already selling.
While Ford Motor Company has rules in place to prevent dealers from marking up EV prices like the F-150 Lightning electric truck, many have failed. We’ve seen select dealerships add a 50% markup and charge over $145,000 for the new Lightning EV.
According to CNBC and Electrek, Ford has a big and bold plan it hopes will usher it into the future, with EV sales taking center stage.
The company will require dealerships to invest anywhere from $500k to $1 million to upgrade facilities, install public-facing DC fast charging stations on lots, get proper training, offer online sales, and adhere to strict and fair pricing to sell EVs.
Ford dealerships can sell and offer maintenance on gas-powered cars, Ford fleet vehicles, electric vehicles, or any combination of the three right now. That’s about to change, and dealerships must meet specific criteria and upgrade facilities if they want to sell electric vehicles.
Additionally, Ford says that nearly 96% of the U.S. population lives within 20 miles of a Ford dealer, and 85% are even closer. By installing DC fast charging stations at every dealership, customers will always have somewhere to charge an EV at a fast rate.
However, dealerships don’t have to become “Model e Certified” if they can’t afford it or don’t see enough EV sales in their specific market. Ford Motor Company isn’t going to require dealerships to make these changes, but it looks like they won’t be able to get or sell EV inventory unless they do. Dealerships have until October 31st to opt in.
Ford CEO Jim Farley said the automaker and its dealers needed to lower costs, increase profits and deliver better, more consistent customer sales experiences. The company expects these changes to go into effect starting in January 2024.
While these changes will help dealerships be more prepared to sell electric vehicles, they’ll also need to adhere to standard pricing, which is good news for consumers.