Ford gave its dealers, including Lincoln, an ultimatum to either buy in and go all-in on selling electric vehicles or wait until 2027 as part of its voluntary Model-e EV program. Although a little over half of Lincoln dealers opted in, they account for the great majority of the brand’s sales.
As Ford fights to gain market share in the booming US electric vehicle market, CEO Jim Farley says the company needs to lower costs, boost profitability, and enhance the customer experience to better compete.
Ford was the second-largest EV maker in the US last year, selling 61,575 all-electric vehicles as it works to ramp production.
In March, Ford accelerated its EV growth strategy, announcing it will report as three business units, with the Model-e team leading the company’s electric vehicle initiatives.
To streamline the buying experience for Ford and Lincoln EV buyers, the company asked its dealership network to “join us on an epic journey of sustainable expansion and customer experience” through its Model-e dealer program.
Farley announced in December that two-thirds of Ford dealerships opted into the program to sell electric vehicles. As a result, the other third will have to wait until 2027 or when Ford holds another round.
Over half of Lincoln dealers opt into Ford’s EV program
Up until now, we haven’t caught wind of how many Lincoln dealers would be involved in the transformation. According to a new report from Automotive News, 59% of them have joined Ford’s “epic journey” to invest up to $900,000 to sell EVs.
Of Lincoln’s 600 US dealers, 356 are opting in, including all standalone dealerships. A spokesperson from the company told Automotive News:
This gives Lincoln a robust network of retailers who have agreed to take the necessary steps to prepare for our brand’s transition towards electrification and better serve our EV clients.
Meanwhile, the 356 Lincoln dealers account for 88% of the brand’s sales volume, with about 90% of them located in the nation’s top 130 luxury markets.
For those in luxury markets, a $900,000 investment results in two DC fast chargers and seven level 2 chargers. Dealerships that include both Ford and Lincoln are required to invest in both programs, but they can sell an unlimited (assuming they have the inventory) number of EVs.
As Electrek has previously reported, Ford’s dealer program will result in one of the largest DC fast-charging networks in the US.
Although Lincoln doesn’t sell any electric vehicles at the moment, it does expect half of its global volume to be electric by 2025. The brand has announced it will release three Lincoln EVs by 2025 and another the following year.
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