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Blumenthal to Ford: Give Dealers More Time to Resolve Concerns Over Model E Program

Government and Politics

December 1, 2022


[HARTFORD, CT] – Following multiple meetings with Connecticut Ford dealers, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) wrote to the Ford Motor Company urging them to extend the Friday, Dec. 2 deadline for dealers to decide whether or not to opt in to the Ford Model e program until it can resolve outstanding concerns about the program’s costly requirements.

In a meeting last week and again at a press conference on Wednesday, Ford dealers in Connecticut expressed concerns about the Model e program, which mandates dealers opt into costly new requirements to continue selling the company’s electric vehicles. Connecticut Ford dealers have said this program will adversely affect dealers and stifle the distribution of electric vehicles in Connecticut — harming consumer choice and competition.

“While I commend the effort to promote electric vehicle use, it is clear the Ford Model e program requires further discussion before implementation…instead of locking dealers out from selling electric vehicles after Friday, I urge you to work with these dealers to find a future for the program that enables all dealers to sell electric vehicles without onerous requirements for doing so,” Blumenthal wrote.

A full copy of the letter can be found below:

Mr. James D. Farley, Jr.
President and Chief Executive Officer Ford Motor Company
1 American Road
Dearborn, Michigan 48126

Dear Mr. Farley,

I write to urge your extension of the arbitrary deadline of this Friday, December  2, 2022, for dealers to decide whether or not to opt in to the Ford Model e program until further discussions between Ford and its dealers resolve dealers’ outstanding concerns about the requirements of the Ford Model e program.

Let me be clear: I do not seek to postpone or delay the rollout of electric vehicles. Electric vehicles are the future, and I commend Ford’s investment in their development.

Widespread adoption of electric vehicles depends on consumer access to affordable cars and high-quality servicing. Your dealers are currently able to provide these critical services to consumers at reasonable prices for legacy vehicles. However, I have heard from dealers across Connecticut that the Ford Model e program, as proposed, would limit their ability to provide the same affordability and level of service for electric vehicles.

Imposing Friday’s deadline is antithetical to consumers’ interests. Dealers who do not opt in to making the investments necessary to achieve ‘Model e Certified’ or  Model e Certified Elite’ status would be prohibited from selling or servicing electric vehicles.  It  is  unreasonable  to expect  that all dealers, in just a few months, are able to commit  to hundreds  of thousands  of dollars in investments that could take years to see the returns of. Fewer Ford Model e dealers lessens competition and consumer choice. Consumers should not  be punished  for Ford  imposing on its dealers tight deadlines requiring high-cost investments.

While I commend the effort to promote electric vehicle use, it is clear the Ford Model e program requires further discussion before implementation. Dealers from numerous states — including Connecticut — have sent you letters raising concerns about the Model e program and the requirements it imposes on dealers. Instead of locking dealers out from selling electric vehicles after Friday, I urge you to work with these dealers to find a future for the program that enables all dealers to sell electric vehicles without onerous requirements for doing so.

Thank you for your consideration of my letter. I hope to hear from you before Friday.