Ford Mach EFord Mach E


Ford CEO committed to car dealers for the long term as he takes aim at Tesla

  • Jim Farley says car dealers will be part of Ford’s plans for the long term
  • He believes Tesla model for selling cars isn’t right for Ford
  • Firm announces split into two businesses – one for electric and one for combustion

Time 7:51 am, March 3, 2022

Ford boss Jim Farley says he is committed to the car dealer model for the long term.

Speaking to the Detroit Free Press, the Ford CEO said car dealers will play an ‘essential role’ in the future of the business.

‘We’re not keeping dealers in the mix for the moment – we are betting on dealers for the long term,’ he told the American newspaper. 

‘I want to make that really clear. I’m not mincing words. 

‘We will have new standards and a new experience. But we learned a lot by watching Tesla.’

Farley was referring to issues some Tesla customers have when they want to get problems with their cars fixed.

Having bought them online, he believes customers don’t like the struggle they have getting repairs carried out and prefer popping into a dealership instead.

Ford has announced that it will split its company into two separate entities – a ‘Model e division’ and its ‘Blue division’. 

The former will deal with its electric car line-up and the latter its combustion engined models.

Farley will lead both companies as CEO.

He said: ‘We are going all in, creating separate but complementary businesses that give us start-up speed and unbridled innovation in Ford Model e together with Ford Blue’s industrial know-how, volume and iconic brands like Bronco, that start-ups can only dream about.

‘Ford Model e will be Ford’s centre of innovation and growth, a team of the world’s best software, electrical and automotive talent turned loose to create truly incredible electric vehicles and digital experiences for new generations of Ford customers.’

Farley believes that Ford’s ‘legacy organisation’ has been holding the company back.

The firm is planning to have half of its range electrified by 2030 and says it will be producing two million electric cars by 2026.

Referring directly again to Tesla, Farley added: ‘Is this about winning? 100%. 

‘We want to beat the old players. We want to beat the new players.’

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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