Ford dealers are facing a number of changes under The Blue Oval’s recently announced reorganization plans, which will split the automaker into two distinct entities – Model e for EVs and Ford Blue for ICE-powered vehicles. As part of this switch, Ford dealers will be asked to specialize in one of those areas or the Ford Pro commercial business, and could also be forced to sell EVs at MSRP following a bit of outrage after some attached huge markups to the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning. Now, as it continues to invest heavily in an all-electric future, Ford will also be sending salespeople, technicians, and parts employees to its new “Electric University” EV training school.
“We’re going to be able to send our people and immerse them in the world of electrification,” Tim Hovik, Ford’s National Dealer Council chairman, told Automotive News. “This really is a transformative time in history. Everything we’ve ever done before … this is a different world. We absolutely are going to have to do a phenomenal job to get all of our people up to speed to deliver the world-class experience we do. We just need to get a little smarter when it comes to electric.”
FoMoCo hasn’t released all of the details regarding Electric University yet, but it will likely consist of a multi-day in-person educational program designed to give dealer employees a crash course in EVs in a classroom near the automaker’s Dearborn, Michigan headquarters. Hovik noted that the program would likely include explaining ownership benefits and the differences in performance capabilities between EVs and ICE-powered vehicles, an idea inspired by the success of Ford’s Bronco Off-Roadeo experiences.
Arming its dealers – which have produced mixed results in recent studies in regards to customer service – with the knowledge needed to sell EVs is critical as Ford plans to spend $50 billion to expand its annual all-electric vehicle production to two million units by 2026. As part of that transition, FoMoCo revealed seven new EVs destined for Europe just yesterday, all of which will enter production by 2024.