Ford Authority

Ford EV Dealer Mandates Catch Flak In Connecticut

The recently announced Ford EV dealer mandates have been under heavy scrutiny recently, both in the U.S. and Canada. Essentially, Ford is requiring its dealers that want to sell EVs to adhere to certain stipulations such as selling them at fixed prices, as well as investing anywhere between $500,000 to $1.2 million or more, with much of that money going to shore up infrastructure. Dealers can choose to attain either Model e Certified or Model e Certified Elite status, though the former will limit a dealer’s ability to advertise vehicles, as well as put a cap on the number of EVs it can take delivery of. Now, after previously delaying the deadline for dealers to opt in to this program from October to tomorrow, these Ford EV dealer mandates are facing new opposition from officials in Connecticut, according to CT News Junkie.

As Ford Authority reported last week, The Blue Oval has no intentions to extend the deadline for dealers to opt into this program again, a decision that the Connecticut Automotive Dealers Association panned this week during a remote press conference. The association believes that Ford’s approach is too aggressive, and noted that it has received complaints from dealers across the state as a result. Additionally, lawmakers are questioning the legality of such an agreement, too.

“I’m convinced there is a case that needs to be investigated here,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal. “I’m going to be taking this case to other state authorities including the attorney general, but I think also should be of interest to the Federal Trade Commission, its franchise rules may also be violated here.”

“Depending on how big your dealership is, you may never experience a return on investment because it’s a fixed price,” said Jeff Aiosa, legislative co-chair of the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association. “One point two million is the same price for a dealer that sells 100 cars a year as opposed to a dealership that sells three or four thousand vehicles a year. It’s a very difficult program.”

The group is asking Ford to reconsider its terms and meet with dealers to come up with a more palatable compromise. In the meantime, the deadline to opt in is looming, though dealers that ultimately choose not to will get a second chance to sign up for Model e Certified in 2027.

We’ll have more on this very soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for non-stop 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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  1. Bill

    If GM allows any of their dealerships to sell evs then Ford is going to eventually cave in and may need to pay back some fees

    1. Arcee

      GM requires their dealers to “invest” in EV sales as well…just ask the many Buick and Cadillac franchises that were told to invest in the EV future or take a buy-out.

      All of this is just an unfortunate by-product of the rushed transition to EVs. The manufacturers want to make sure their dealers are trained and equipped to handle them. I don’t blame them for asking their dealers to commit. I work in the IT industry, and our partners regularly ask for us to become certified. It requires the company to invest in equipment, time, and in many cases human resources to fulfill the requirements. We sell more of their products as a result and use the profit margin from those additional sales (usually well below MSRP) to pay for those added resources. That’s just how business works.

  2. John V

    Government meddling in private business is never a good idea.

    1. GaryB

      Meh. I dont think Epi Pens, insulin, and ambulance rides should be priced at 10s of thousands of times over their actual cost. There are companies that take advantage of and abuse their customers as well as their employees. Government should be protecting the customers and employees from bad companies instead of bailing them out and letting them use slave labor to make their products.

    2. RWFA

      “Don’t Meddle!” said business until it came time to apply for their PPP grants.

  3. hot toddy

    funny it is how far down the food chain the loyal customers are at the Big Blue Oval.

    1. RWFA

      Funny how some of the issues behind the actions in the article are directly aimed at improving the customer’s experience.

  4. Ben

    I work for a dealer that has chosen to go all-in on the EV investment. There is a lot of misinformation being published. Ford is not asking for a $1.2 million “fee.” They’re asking us to install chargers, which they’ve estimated will cost about $900,000, and some other investments (forklifts, etc), totaling $1.2 million. However, there are ways to save several hundred thousand dollars along the way, and the chargers themselves are a revenue stream.
    Any dealers complaining about this either don’t know how to read, or don’t know how to do math. It’s not that big a deal. If there are any dealers reading this who disagree, feel free to send me a message, and I’ll work as a consultant– for just 10% of what I save from your $1.2 million budget.

    1. RWFA

      I like this post! Hope someone legit takes your offer and you keep us updated!

  5. Dave Mathers

    I’m glad I am retired. Thirty plus years ago I was on Ford of Canada Dealer Council and I would have fought this like crazy.

    1. RWFA

      Hi Dave,

      I can understand how and why dealers would fight this but how else is Ford to position for the future?

      New entrants are coming in without the century old marketing, pricing, sales, distribution and service models, and dealer footprint, that Ford is now burdened with.

      Supporting these old school models just because that’s how they are, as if that is etched in stone, given the competition not carrying these complex overheads, is an model for the eventual failure of ford motor company due to dissipation of resources.

      Fact is that Ford has too many dealers for the BEV future and has to do something’s to drive consolidation and rationalization. Having a bunch of low profit dealers fighting against each other on sales price because their service revenues are drying up only results in a bunch of ratty shops focussed more in survival than customer satisfaction; this, like weak product kills a brand and then a company.

      A ford motor with weak dealerships, weak brands, weak products, soon becomes an also ran, and then, under pressure from more fit competitors, and through dissipation is either acquired or liquidated. (Plenty of historical precedent for this as this is what happened to Studebaker, Packard, Hudson/Nash/AMC, original GM, etc. these examples speaking to the broader concept of brand degradation and dissipation.)

      In the end, Ford’s not there to keep dealers afloat as much as dealers are there to allow Ford to maximize its long term survival prospects because if dealers consolidate, Ford may be better off, but if Ford fails, all the dealers fail.

      Some folks are having a hard time to recognize the writing on the door to the future and some dealers won’t make it (but isn’t that ever the case? Even Farley’s own grandfather’s L-M dealership, as Farley put it, “didn’t work out.”)

      The individual dealers have a right to push back but as a collective body they should be careful what they push for because by blocking this transition plan, or significantly weakening it, the could usher in a long term irreversible decline of Ford.


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