As sales of battery-powered vehicles slow due to persistently high prices, many Ford dealers are hesitant to take the risk and invest in selling them. The Detroit Free Press first reported, and Ford confirmed that nearly half of Ford’s about 3,000 dealerships in the United States have opted out of the investments required to sell electric vehicles such as the F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-e.
Instead, some dealers will stick to traditional combustion engines and hybrids, which are becoming increasingly popular as Americans experiment with lowering their petrol costs without going all-in. Part of the dealers’ apprehension may be due to the massive investments the automaker requires to sell electric vehicles, including DC fast-chargers.
When some Ford dealers began turning down Mustang Mach-E allocations earlier this year, they were among the first to sound the alarm about dwindling electric vehicle demand. Later that year, some Ford dealers told Business Insider they had trouble filling Lightning orders.
Ford sold 16,000 electric trucks in the first nine months of 2023, a tiny fraction of the approximately 570,000 F-series vehicles sold in the same period. Since the company began enforcing the new EV requirements, the company’s relationship with dealers has suffered. In a recent survey of dealer trust in their franchises, the company came in dead last, with 46% of Ford dealers saying they had “no trust” in the franchise.