Ford ends its electric car sales program

Electric vehicle sales for Ford and other automakers are growing but at a much slower pace than many expected. This has led to automakers delaying or canceling electric vehicles and future investments.

“The world has changed,” Marin Gegaja, chief operating officer of the Ford Model E electric vehicle company, said Thursday during a press conference. “Growth has slowed.”

The Model e Dealership program, which included about half of Ford’s 2,800 U.S. dealers, is “winding down” as the market experiences changing conditions and amid talks with dealers, Gigaga said. The company has faced lawsuits from merchants over the program.

Instead, Ford will open electric vehicle sales to all its dealers in an effort to increase sales of its all-electric cars and trucks.

“It allows us to open up electric vehicle sales and service to more dealers,” Jigaga said. “We think it will help us increase our sales.”

Dealers will need to make some investments for charging, training and other expenses related to electric vehicles, but not as much as they did under the previous program, which included expected investments of between $500,000 and $1.2 million.

Those initial estimates are high, Gigaga said. Traders who participated in the full program invested about $600,000 on average, he said.

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