July 21, 2024
News

Ford increases electric vehicle options available at all US dealers to boost sales

Ford Motor Co. will distribute its range of electric vehicles through all 2,800 of its US dealerships in an effort to increase sales of battery-powered models that are currently being ignored by mainstream consumers.

The company has decided to abandon a previous plan that required dealers to invest up to $1.2 million in their establishments in order to be eligible to receive models such as the electric Mustang Mach-E and the F-150 Lightning plug-in pickup. Approximately half of Ford’s dealers had enrolled in this program.

“The growth has slowed down and we’re facing challenges,” stated Marin Gjaja, chief operating officer of Ford’s EV unit, Model e, during a call with reporters on Thursday.

By offering EVs at all Ford dealerships, Gjaja expressed optimism that it will help boost sales. “We believe that this will expand our sales by providing greater geographic coverage and establishing more convenient locations for customers to purchase and service their vehicles,” he added.

This move is part of Ford’s evolving EV strategy, which has involved reducing spending on battery-powered models, cutting EV factory capacity, delaying new models, and reducing prices.

In the first quarter, Ford incurred losses exceeding $100,000 on each EV sold, a significant increase from the previous year. The company anticipates losing up to $5.5 billion in its EV unit this year, which CEO Jim Farley acknowledged as a major obstacle for the company.

Ford’s shares experienced a decline of up to 1.9% on Thursday morning in New York. The stock had already decreased by about 1% since the beginning of the year.

As part of this shift, Ford will no longer mandate that dealers install fast chargers, which cost approximately $100,000 per unit. Instead, dealers will be asked to install two 19.2 kilowatt chargers, known as Level 2 chargers, each costing about $10,000.

Dealers who had previously made the necessary upgrades to qualify for the “certified elite” program spent an average of $600,000, which was lower than the initial estimate provided by the company. Ford is currently in talks with these dealers about the changes, although specific details were not disclosed.

By expanding the availability of EVs to all dealerships, Ford aims to persuade more mainstream customers to consider electric vehicles.

“The landscape has shifted,” Gjaja remarked. The current target market for Ford is no longer solely interested in technology and willing to pay a premium. They now seek practical, functional vehicles.

— By Keith Naughton (Bloomberg)

FAQs:

  • Q: Will all Ford dealerships in the US now sell electric vehicles?
  • A: Yes, Ford plans to offer its lineup of electric vehicles through all 2,800 of its US dealerships.
  • Q: How much did dealers have to invest previously to qualify for receiving electric models?
  • A: Dealers had to invest up to $1.2 million in their stores under the previous program.
  • Q: What type of chargers are dealers now required to install?
  • A: Dealers are asked to install two 19.2 kilowatt Level 2 chargers, which cost about $10,000 each.

Conclusion:

Ford’s decision to make electric vehicles available at all of its US dealerships is a strategic move aimed at increasing sales and reaching a broader customer base. By adapting its approach and removing barriers for dealers, Ford is positioning itself to better compete in the evolving electric vehicle market.

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