"If you don't get on board, you're going to get left behind," said Tom Tower, a 30-year veteran in the service department at Varsity Ford who took part in the electrified vehicle certification training.
"People in our field can usually look at a service order and get a pretty good idea of what needs to be fixed. That's not necessarily the case with a hybrid or all-electric vehicles."
To become certified, dealers had to satisfy a list of other requirements, too, including:
- One of the two required charging stations at the dealership must be in the customer area and the other must be in the service area
- At least one Focus Electric and C-MAX Energi must be available at all times for demonstrations and events
- Of the sales consultant, sales manager, service advisor and service manager jobs at each location, 80 percent must meet specific electric vehicle training certification requirements that cover topics including advanced knowledge of electrification
- Each showroom will have point-of-purchase display materials including digital assets and window signage
- Participation in a Ford Go Green Dealer on-site facility assessment to identify energy- and cost-saving opportunities with a goal of facilitating energy efficiency, lower operating expenses and carbon footprint reduction
Ford took a phased approach to rollout of the EV Certified Ford dealer program that began with phase one and centered on 19 key markets as determined by market research, projected customer demand and other factors. The same approach was used in phase two as the program launched in an additional 23 markets.With more than 900 EV Certified Ford dealers expected to soon be in the network, the phase strategy is no longer being used. "The newest approach is based on a key market coverage strategy to ensure we have good representation on a national basis to meet customer demand," said Russell.