DETROIT — Even as Ford Motor Co. faces litigation over its electric-vehicle certification program for dealers, roughly two-thirds of its U.S. retail network has bought in to the plans, and some are finding that costs could be lower than advertised.
Ford CEO Jim Farley, speaking last week at the Automotive News Congress here, said 1,920 dealers had agreed to follow the rigorous new sales standards and invest heavily in EV chargers and training. He said 1,659 dealers chose the Certified Elite track, which requires investing as much as $1.2 million, while 261 chose the Certified status, which requires up to a $500,000 investment but caps their EV sales at 25 a year.
The automaker, which has about 3,000 dealers in the U.S., views the upgrades as critical to challenging Tesla's leadership in EV sales. Ford is the nation's second-largest EV brand this year, according to Experian registration data.