More than a full third of Ford’s Lincoln dealers have opted not to invest in the brand’s electric vehicle future, may lose the brand.
According to Automotive News, details for Ford’s plan to have EVs account for up to 90% of Lincoln sales by 2030 may have hit a snag with Lincoln dealers hesitant to invest the estimated $900,000 necessary to install two DC fast chargers and seven Level 2 chargers in the top 130 vehicle markets. Dealers in smaller markets are going to have to spend, too – with many estimating a $500,000 cost to add “just one” DC fast charger and four Level 2s.
Dealerships that fail to make those investments won’t be allowed to sell electric cars – and, in Lincoln’s case, may lose the brand altogether.
Chris Poulos, chairman of the Lincoln National Dealer Council, believes the timing of the announcement makes sense. “If you start the process too late, and then there’s delays, you’re stuck and in a bad place,” said Poulos, who is also the General Manager of West Point Lincoln in Houston, TX. “I do think there’s some thoughtfulness that’s gone into the timing. It does seem like it’s early, but I also can understand what the pitfalls would be if they (Ford) don’t start early.”
“The ensuing two years we have gives us the time necessary not just to get the infrastructure right, but to get our teams trained, educated and ready to speak EV fluently,” offers Joe Hay, president of Jim Burke Ford-Lincoln in Bakersfield, California. “A lot of the people we’re hoping to get to look at a Lincoln EV probably have owned Teslas and are looking for something different, new and exciting. They’re experienced. We have to be able to really take the next two years to gain a lot of ground and talk intelligently about the future in a way we haven’t been doing today.”
It’s not yet clear exactly what Ford will do with its “rebels,” but one thing is clear: the Lincoln brand is trying to move into the future, and its old-school dealer network may be holding it back.
2022 Lincoln Star Electric Vehicle Concept
SOURCE | IMAGES: AUTOMOTIVE NEWS, LINCOLN.
FTC: We use income-earning auto affiliate links. Learn more.