DETROIT — About two-thirds of Ford Motor Co.’s U.S. dealer network has signed up for the automaker’s electric-vehicle certification program, CEO Jim Farley said Monday.
Speaking at the Automotive News Congress in Detroit, Farley said 1,920 retailers have agreed to follow rigorous new sales standards and invest heavily in EV chargers and training.
Of those, Farley said, 1,659 chose the Certified Elite track, which requires investing as much as $1.2 million. He said 261 dealers chose the Certified status, which requires up to a $500,000 investment while capping their EV sales at 25 per year.
Ford has about 3,000 dealerships in the U.S. The company said those that didn’t sign up by last week’s deadline will not be allowed to sell EVs beyond 2023 but will have another opportunity to do so in 2025.
The announcement comes as opposition to the program grows. Last week, dealers in New York filed a lawsuit challenging the program as illegal, while a separate group of dealers in Illinois filed a protest with the state’s motor vehicle board. Also last week, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Connecticut state lawmakers voiced their displeasure over what they say are excessive costs that potentially violate state franchise laws.
Ford has consistently said it believes the program does not violate any state laws.