DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is giving its dealers an extra month to decide if they’ll agree to invest up to $1.2 million and follow other new standards the automaker is imposing so they can sell electric vehicles after next year.

The Oct. 31 deadline was pushed back to Dec. 2 after some retailers asked for more time to make a decision, according to Ford spokesman Marty Gunsberg.

“We value our relationship with our dealers and have decided to grant additional time to dealers who have not yet decided or requested more time,” Gunsberg said in a statement.

He declined to say how many dealers have already signed up, saying Ford will provide numbers after the registration period ends.

The new deadline aligns more closely with the Dec. 15 deadline that Lincoln dealerships face for a similar program requiring up to $900 million in investment. Dealerships that sell both brands should invest in each program.

Ford standards are split into two tiers with varying levels of investment in fast chargers and staff training. Dealers who choose the lower amount will be limited in the number of electric vehicles they can sell.

Dealerships that do not make the upgrades will be limited to selling Ford-branded internal combustion and hybrid vehicles.

The electric vehicle sales cap has angered some state dealer associations, who argue it violates state laws. Earlier this month, the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association sent a letter to Ford CEO Jim Farley and other executives asking them to reconsider the program and revise the rules.

Separately, a group of auto trade association leaders, representing associations in Virginia and 11 other southern states, this week called on Ford to “reconsider the Ford Model e program as it is currently described,” saying that it “includes unreasonable restrictions on the autonomy of concessionaires”. Model e is the name of the EV division that Farley created this year and oversees as president.

New sales standards require dealers to set non-negotiable prices for electric vehicles. Those who choose the cheapest level of certification will not be allowed to carry inventory electric vehicles, with their customers having to order exactly what they want for later delivery.

Ford said each of its roughly 3,000 U.S. dealerships can choose whether or not to adhere to the standards, and it won’t force any to do so.

Dealers who register will be certified to sell electric vehicles from January 1, 2024 until the end of 2026. Those who do not will have another opportunity to be certified for electric vehicle sales from 2027, but again, they will not be held. to do so to retain their franchise, officials said.


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