After announcing the new EV sales certification program known as Model e Certified in 2022, Ford has dealt with its fair share of backlash related to this particular offering, which every Ford dealer was given the chance to either opt in or out of. Facing a number of legal challenges and trust issues pertaining to its implementation, the automaker has made some changes to the Model e Certified program based on dealer feedback, which satisfied some of those concerns, though others remain. Following these changes, around 50 percent of dealers chose to opt out of the Model e program after initially opting in, and the automaker recently pushed back its requirements on the number of fast chargers dealers must install by six months due to supply constraints. However, that likely won’t be the last tweak Ford makes to its Model e Certified program, according to Automotive News.
This news comes from a recent meeting between a small Ford dealer group representing around 300 locations, plus Elena Ford, Ford’s chief dealer engagement officer, and CEO Jim Farley. Farley reportedly told the group that the company would continue to tweak its Model e Certified program to help the transition smoother, while Elena Ford – who is also the great-great-granddaughter of Henry Ford – told attendees “I know you’re not feeling great right now, and I’m here to fix it.”
Farley asked the group of Ford dealer representatives for “open and honest feedback” on the program’s requirements as well, and noted that he will spend two weeks traveling the U.S. and visiting with as many dealers as possible to do the same.
Meanwhile, Lincoln has put its own EV sales program on hold for now, as Ford Authority recently reported. The brand is currently “rethinking its strategy” as it continues to trim down its dealer network, though that reportedly had nothing to do with this decision.