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Ford Dealers Will Be Asked To Specialize As Part Of Reorganization

As it shifts to more of a build-to-order model with limited vehicle configurations and inventory on dealer lots, FoMoCo is also introducing a number of changes for Ford dealers, including handing out incentives for those that turn vehicles quicker, as well as opening standalone Lincoln stores and even boutique showrooms, despite receiving high marks for its dealer network in recent months. Now, on the heels of announcing a big reorganization that splits Ford into two distinct entities – Model e, which will focus on EVs, and Ford Blue, which will handle the ICE side of things – Ford dealers will also be asked to specialize in one or the other, or even other parts of Ford’s business.

“We’re going to do it by asking them to specialize,” Ford CEO Jim Farley said in response to a question about how Ford dealers will be impacted by the reorganization. “Our dealers may be a Ford Pro dealer. If they’re going to be an electric dealer, we’re going to have new standards. In the next 60 days, we’re going to be out talking to all of our dealers around the world and developing a pithy list of standards for new experiences that are going to be better than Tesla. It’ll have to catch up in certain ways, like digital remote, no inventory, but it’s going to be better in other ways. And that will be through our dealer network. And the real message for our dealers is get ready to specialize. You may be Lincoln, you may be Ford Pro, you may be electric, you may be an ICE dealer in rural America, that’s fine. Get ready to specialize.”

The concept here is to allow dealers to choose which part of the business is best for them, an idea that makes sense given the fact that a big market Ford dealer has far different clients than a rural dealership, as Farley was quick to point out. “The one thing that people need to understand is that a lot of our ICE products, those segments are not served well with electrical vehicles,” he said. “If you have a Super Duty and you’re pulling a horse trailer in Montana, an electrical vehicle isn’t an ideal solution.”

There are a number of different ways Ford could approach this change, including possibly introducing a fixed-price model for EVs like Tesla, as the automaker wasn’t terribly pleased by markups imposed on the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning recently. Regardless, it’s clear that big changes are coming for dealers over the next few months and years.

We’ll have more on these changes soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for continuous Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. Greggt

    Wonderful, I guess Ford is continuing their quest to kill off their small independent dealers!

    Reply
    1. Glenda

      I agree. I hope that doesn’t happen since my husband works at a small dealership. What needs to be done is to focus more on finding chips for the vehicles that are already built.

      Reply
  2. Michael

    Ford is obviously getting ready to eventually spin off Ford Blue and keep the Model e. Cadillac did sort of the same thing to their dealers, either convert to EV or die.

    Reply
  3. NCEcoBoost

    And what this does is to make customers have to drive farther to get service. Doofus idea, like the whole plan.

    Reply
  4. Glenda

    Dear FORD CEO,
    This is the dumbest idea I have ever heard of!! As a current Ford owner I don’t think I would be happy if I wanted to test drive both types of vehicles and was told that the dealership I was at only carried one type. What I see happening in the future is Ford will lose customers because the customer had to drive to two different dealerships.

    Reply
  5. Glenu

    I agree with the comments thus far but maybe, just maybe, CEO Farley is talking about service only. I can see splitting that up but for sales a bad idea on so many levels.

    Reply
  6. JT

    What about dealers that want to be able to offer both either based on market or profitability? Weird concept. Just give dealerships two showrooms.

    Reply
  7. Wayne

    The dealerships deserve what they get from corporate. Far to long they have been screwing the public that want’s speciality vehicles like raptor, lighting and Gt-40.

    Msrp is good enough for other markets and companies to sell there products, but car dealerships are always greedy. YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW. PIGS GET FAT HOGS GET SLAUGHTER

    Reply
  8. Wanted33

    Just another example of Farley double speak. He “wasn’t terribly pleased” with mark-ups on his baby the Lightning. But he didn’t give a damn when it came to his Bronco customers. Bowing down to the mega dealers as Ford has done with the Bronco, it appears now that Ford couldn’t care less about it’s small town dealers. If these smaller dealers want to carry both lines of vehicles, it may just cost them to much to survive. I’ve been a long time Ford customer, but the company is slowly but surely pushing me to another brand. And, I’m not happy about that at all.

    Reply
  9. FordFraud

    I agree with Wanted33’s comment. Ford has the backing of Creepy Joe and still fumbles the ball at the 1 yard line. Ford is a hypocritical greedy corporation. Says EV but steadily pumping out new gassers to only be sold at exorbitant prices. Tesla would be King of auto manufacturing if not for the CyberTruck delays that make the Bronco delays seem short.

    Reply
    1. Everyday Patriot

      “Creepy Joe”?
      HAHAHAHA!
      Some (bad) habits die hard, KKKomrade.
      Have a nice day.

      Reply
  10. Gerald Heilpern

    This idea must of come from the people that thought up the EDSEL. I have been a Ford/Lincoln buyer for more years than I can remember. Baring a few forays into other makes, I have been a customer since 1960. If Ford and Lincoln are separate brands and then these are divided into ICE and EV then are we looking at 4 separate dealerships. Between my wofe, older son, and myself we average a car a year. I am sure that the GM dealer (2blocks away) would welcome us with open arms. Under this plan Lincoln will be dead before it is done with the switch to electric. Ford won’t have enough electric models to survive for several years at best. If weare being pressured to change to electric, why not let time make the changes for us. I understand that that Ford wants to be all electric within the decade. Why spend all the money just to annoy their dealers and customers.

    Reply
  11. David Dickinson

    While I thought having the two lines was a good idea because of how the back-office needed to organize, I think having the dealerships make this decision is dumb, dumb, dumb. Ford wants it retail outlets to carry some of their products, but not all of their products???

    However, it REALLY gives credibility to those that say one of the lines will be sold off in the future. In fact, I would say that is nearly certainly the case now. And that is a bad idea. Ford should fully embrace EVs and ICEs. The world needs both.

    Reply
  12. Thomas Coghlan

    Think it’s time to sell off my Ford stock.Can’t get straight answer on my Maverick order and now where to look for an alternative vehicle??

    Reply
  13. 63formcar

    Ford owner and fan for years. There are already Lincoln-only dealers, but splitting ICE and electric engineering and production destroys the cooperative and synergystic engineering possibilities in sharing between teams in the development process. And having ICE dealerships separate from electric is a very bad idea – once I have found a dealership I truly trust and want to do business with, I want buy ALL vehicles and service from them. This is why I think dropping all sedans from the lineup was overkill. If somone finds a great deal on their first new car – sedan or hatchback – when they are ready to buy a truck they will buy it from the dealer who has already respected them and helped them.

    Reply
  14. Rod Oracheski

    So Ford, after decades of spending all kinds of money to make the buying experience better for consumers, is just going to go ahead and make buying the vehicle you want more confusing?

    In the immortal words of Pepper Brooks: “It’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for ’em.”

    Reply
  15. Sharon Petty

    Dear Ford CEO ,You need to quit worrying about dividing up the Ford dealerships you can’t even get the dealerships to bring the Broncos that is reserved and ordered out and I’ve had mine on order for over a year and haven’t got it yet

    Reply
  16. Joseph

    I think this is a brilliant idea. As the CEO mentions, different markets have different clienteles. I would think in rural areas, the clients there would prefer ICE over EV. And for a small-time dealer to carry both EV and ICE would be difficult just because of wasted resources just to have so many. As a client’s perspective is concerned, you got to think of it as the same brand but a different brand like Ford and Lincoln or a Toyota and Lexus. In most cases (bc I read someone who buys both), Lincoln buyer does not buy a Ford, unless it’s for their kid (which I think was the case), I think it’s just a different buyer. And I think the CEO is recognizing that and is giving choices to the dealers saying, which one? ICE or EV? But I am sure some can choose both. It’s just the dealers have to be able to accommodate. Because it sounds like the EV segment is COMPLETELY different than Ford’s ICE. It’s brilliant all around. It’s better for the manufacturer, the dealers, and consumers too. Honestly, because of my preference, only Ford I would even consider would have been Mustang a long time ago. But now depending on what kind of EVs are they are coming out with, I might consider them. I believe this is why they killed all of their vehicles. They were losing it. But I think he pivoted VERY well!!!

    Reply
  17. Flat Rate Tech

    It’s about time Ford Corporate is moving to build to order and not having all those dollars sitting on dealership lots.
    If Ford could finally get rid of these little dealerships that only sell a couple thousand of vehicles a year it could concentrate more on the volume money makers and in turn be able to freeze or even reduce the M.S.R.P. on some models to help increase sold unit numbers.

    Reply
  18. Tom

    This is actually a needed move. There are cases where Ford people tell people wanting an EV to go buy a Tesla. Or they try to steer customers away from EVs because they don’t want to sell them. That can’t be allowed. Some dealers will be good pushing the F150 lightning over the ICE one when supplies are there. Others won’t. Not a problem but this way customers and inventory can be guided to the proper dealer.

    Reply

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