News Story

Half of Ford dealers sit out the EV revolution

Company claimed two-thirds were interested last year, but the fraction keeps getting smaller

People who sell cars to real-world customers seem less confident than manufacturers that the electric vehicle is the way of the future.

The Detroit News reported last week that 47% of Buick dealers took a buyout rather than embrace the heavily subsidized but modestly selling vehicles. Now the Free Press reports that half of Ford dealers have yet to opt in on 2024 electric vehicles.

As Phoebe Wall Howard reported:

Half the Ford dealers in the nation, or some 1,550, have chosen to stick with selling hybrid and internal combustion engine vehicles only in 2024, waiting to decide whether to make the investments needed to sell and service electric vehicles, the Detroit Free Press has learned.

“EV adoption rates vary across the country and we believe our dealers know their market best,” Ford spokesman Marty Gunsberg told the Detroit Free Press. “As Ford dealers have completed their own local market assessments, enrollments for 2024 are just over 50% of the network, placing 86% of the population within 20 miles of a Ford dealership that can sell and service a Ford EV.”

Read the reports for yourself: Detroit News on Buick; Freep on Ford

Ford CEO Jim Farley said last year there’d be much higher EV adoption among car dealerships: two-thirds, rather than half.

“Some dealers later withdrew,” Howard reports.

Unlike General Motors, which spent about $1 billion buying out Buick dealers, Ford will not buy out the dealerships that don’t transition, the Freep reports.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s MI Healthy Climate Plan says Michigan needs the infrastructure for two million electric vehicles by 2030. In 2022 Michigan had just under 37,000 electric vehicles registered, per U.S. Department of Energy data.

In 2024 Whitmer plans to seek $25 million from Michigan lawmakers for rebates for new car sales. The rebates would range from $1,000 to $2,500, depending on whether the car is gas-powered (lowest), union-made (higher), or electric (highest). This will be the third straight year Whitmer has sought a rebate for EV buyers.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.