DETROIT — Buying an F-150 Lightning from a Ford dealer in 2024 may look very different from buying an F-150 today.
Ford Motor Co. says it's bringing new shoppers into the fold with its latest electric vehicles and wants to cater to them with a unique retail model. EV dealers, CEO Jim Farley says, must get ready to "specialize" in those battery-powered products to better compete against direct-to-consumer startups that promise buyers a stress-free shopping experience.
That means going deeper than simply setting up a dedicated EV display in a showroom. Ford wants dealers who sell its EVs to reduce costs by carrying no inventory, eliminate markups through nonnegotiable pricing and focus even more on online sales. The automaker also is considering collaborating with its dealer council on an initiative called "Electric University," a multiday immersive experience for dealership salespeople and service techs that would serve as a boot camp on the finer points of electrification.