A week ago, Ford announced it is splitting its business into two separate divisions covering different aspects of the automotive industry. Ford Blue will work on future combustion engine-powered vehicles, while Ford Model E will develop fully electric vehicles. While the latter will have access to the automaker's high-volume manufacturing ability, its establishment will reportedly drive some changes in the way Ford is selling cars to customers.
According to a new report from Automotive News, the Blue Oval company will work on new operating standards for EV sales. They will combine the firm’s more than decade-old expertise in selling and delivering cars through dealers with know-how from direct-sale startup companies in the industry. The exact terms will be discussed with the dealers over the next few months but Ford executives have reportedly outlined some of the rules they want to include in the new plan.
Probably the most interesting part of the new strategy will force Ford’s dealers to stop carrying new-vehicle inventory and instead move to an order-only sales model. This is basically identical to the way Tesla sells cars and Ford’s CEO Jim Farley believes this move could help the automaker lower the prices of their electric cars. Also, the retailers will be asked to sell EVs at MSRP. However, Ford will probably keep maintaining physical support for its customers during their new vehicle ownership.
"We've been asking ourselves, how do we not just get the $2,000 out but really be better than them?" Jim Farley said in an interview. "The lack of physical support for the customer becomes a really critical problem for them. Not everything can be done remote. We can do things Tesla can't do."
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Automotive News’ report also says Ford will give its nearly 3,100 dealers in the US the opportunity to sell electric vehicles alongside traditional combustion-powered cars. In order to be approved, they will have to meet certain requirements and, if they choose not to sell EVs or can’t afford that, they can continue selling only combustion vehicles.