Ford Motor Company F has charted for itself an ambitious electric vehicle transition plan and it appears that Blue Oval has enlisted the support of a majority of its dealers for its Model e EV program.
What Happened: About 1,920 Ford dealers have enrolled for the Model e program that runs through the years 2024 to 2026, CEO Jim Farley said at the Automotive News World Congress, reported The Detroit News.
This would mean about 64% of Ford’s 3,000 dealers in the franchised network in the U.S. have given their nod to be part of the company’s electrification drive. Ford will reportedly provide another opportunity in 2025 for those who haven’t enrolled yet so that they can join the next drive in 2027.
Of these 1,659 have opted for the highest level, the “certified elite” program, which will provide them with full sales and service capabilities and involve a higher level of investment. About 261 dealers preferred the “certified” program, an option that allows them full-service capability but limits the number of EVs they can sell. Investment to be made by these dealers is relatively less.
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Farley said even though the largest luxury brand in the U.S. didn’t bet on the franchise system, Ford has opted for the dealer council process. He was apparently referring to Tesla Inc. TSLA, which vouches by the direct-selling model. Ford is currently the number two EV maker in the U.S., although it has a lot of catching-up to do with market leader Tesla.
The Ford CEO also suggested that the company is shooting for enough Model e dealers so that they were adequately spread out to serve customers who are first-time EV buyers.
Commenting on the data, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives reportedly said, “A vote of confidence from the dealer network is huge for Farley & Co. on EVs.”
Why It’s Important: Farley discussed this concept of certification when he met with the company’s dealers in Las Vegas in mid-September. The company closed the extended enrolment deadline on Friday.
Given the high investment needed to secure certification, some dealers and the unions they represent have expressed concerns about the spending and how they can recoup their investments.
Price Action: Ford closed Monday’s session down 3.46% at $13.38, according to Benzinga Pro data.
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