In or out: Ford gives dealers ultimatum on EV sales

Showrooms will need to invest in infrastructure to sell electric vehicles

Ford CEO Jim Farley told the brand's dealers on Tuesday in Las Vegas that they're either in or out when it comes to selling EVs.

Farley unveiled a new plan that will require dealers to become certified to sell fully electric vehicles that comes with several firm stipulations.

Two tiers are being offered, with the higher Elite level requiring an investment of up to $1.2 million for the installation of two to three fast charging stations at each store, while standard certification will require only one, according to an Automotive News report.

Ford has confirmed the details of the report to Fox Business.


Ford CEO Jim Farley

Ford CEO James Farley, seen here speaking during a launch event for the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning all-electric truck in April, told dealers they will need to agree to certain requirements to be able to sell Ford's electric models. (Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Elite dealers will be allowed to carry EV inventory and have demo units, while the rest will only be able to place orders for purchases.

Both must agree to sell their vehicles at no-haggle prices that will be listed on the Ford sales portal, although they will continue to be allowed to set those prices as they wish.

Dealers have until Oct. 31 to decide if they will participate in the program, which begins on Jan. 1, 2024, and runs through the end of 2026. Another window to opt in will open in 2027.

Ford CEO Jim Farley

Farley said Ford will continue to invest aggressively in internal combustion engine models. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images / Getty Images)


Ford in March split the business into the Ford Blue division, focused on internal combustion engine cars and hybrids, and the Ford Model e fully electric division.

"We don't want to rush dealers into being a Model e dealer before their market or they are ready to," Farley said.

"We want people to take on these standards that can be profitable in executing them," he said. "It will not be good for the dealers or the company if people take on these standards and they don't get a return on their investment. We're not so excited or dogmatic that we want a certain number of people to take it that we'd look past the financial viability of it. That'd be a really bad move for us."

Ford F-150 Lightning factory

The Ford F-150 Lightning is the brand's first electric pickup. (Ford / Fox News)

Farley told FOX Business on Tuesday that while the company is adding pure electric vehicles, it will continue to invest aggressively in internal combustion engine (ICE) and hybrid models like the Ford F-150, Bronco and Mustang.


"We’re investing in ICE segments where we’re dominant and where we think, as competitors leave the segments, we can actually grow," Farley said.

"Not all segments will go to electric at the same time, and some may never."

General Motors, which has committed to going all-electric in the U.S. by 2035, has offered buyouts to Cadillac and Buick dealers who do not want to invest in the infrastructure needed to sell and service EVs.