Ford Tells Dealers They Must Set No-Haggle Pricing to Sell EVs

Ford says its dealers must invest $1.2 million and follow tight restrictions on sales if they hope to sell EVs past 2023, as reported by Automotive News.

Dealerships have until October 31 to opt into either of two new certification tiers, both requiring varied investment levels for both staff training and EV chargers.

The move will force Ford’s EV dealerships to sell vehicles at non-negotiable prices, with lower-tier dealers not being allowed to keep some upgrade EVs in their inventory.

The news comes as the brand is changing its retail model in hopes of competing with direct-sales startups such as Tesla, Lucid Motors, Rivian and more.

“We don’t want to rush dealers into being a Model e dealer before their market or they are ready to,” said Ford CEO Jim Farley. “We want people to take on these standards that can be profitable in executing them.”

Those in the higher tier, dubbed “Model e Certified Elite,” are being asked to start with a $900,000 investment to start. The investment will mainly go toward building two fast-charging stalls, at least one of which must be for the public. By 2026, dealerships of this tier level will be expected to invest another $300,000 to add a third charger.

The lower tier, “Model e Certified,” requires a $500,000 investment to install one fast-charger for the public, and dealers will only be allowed to carry limited stock — and to sell a limited number of EVs per year, though it’s not yet clear what that cap will be.

The change for EV sales requirements on dealers is one way for Ford to compete with direct sales models pioneered by Tesla, and deployed by startups Rivian and Lucid Motors.