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Ford may have to cut petrol and diesel sales in order to avoid hefty ZEV mandate fines

  • Ford says ZEV mandate could force it to restrict petrol and diesel sales in the UK
  • Outfit’s European boss says prices may rise or shipments of cars could now be sent elsewhere
  • Firm also abandons target of being all-electric in Europe by 2030

Time 8:20 am, May 9, 2024

Ford may have to restrict sales of petrol and diesel models in order to fall in line with the ZEV mandate.

That is according to the Blue Oval’s European boss, who says that prices could have to be rise in order for the company to meet the government’s eco targets.

Speaking at the Financial Times Future of the Car Summit earlier this week, the Martin Sander admitted that cars currently destined for the UK could now be sold elsewhere in order to avoid hefty fines.

The German CEO also admitted that the famous carmaker is now unlikely to meet its previous target of being all-electric in Europe by 2030.

He told the summit: ‘We can’t push EVs into the market against demand.

‘We’re not going to pay penalties. We are not going to sell EVs at huge losses just to buy compliance.

‘The only alternative is to take our shipments of [engine] vehicles to the UK down and sell these vehicles somewhere else.

‘I don’t know if consumers in the UK would like seeing [engine vehicle] prices going up.’

In a wide ranging address, Sander also claimed it was ‘irrelevant’ that the UK had pushed back its 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.

Elsewhere, he admitted that Ford is now likely to continue selling hybrid models well into the next decade.

Ford currently only offers two EVs – the Mustang Mach-E and the E-Transit van – although first deliveries of its electric Explorer SUV are expected over the summer.

The firm is also due to unveil an electrified version of the Puma – named the Gen-E – before 2024 is out.

Demand is behind our expectations now and we are not hitting our ambitious targets. Everyone is getting extremely nervous,’ Sander said.

‘It’s irrelevant if [the electric vehicle-only date] is going to be in 2030 or 2035. The trajectory is clear.’

He added: ‘We are committed to zero emissions . . . We just need to be reasonable about it and together find a way to manage to get to net zero in a profitable way.’

Sander’s comments follow similar threats by Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares, who has threatened to slash the outfit’s UK operations in response to the ‘terrible’ ZEV mandate.

A Stellantis representative who was present at the FT summit was Peugeot chief executive Linda Jackson, who reiterated that the company would not pay penalties for missing targets.

She said: ‘As a manufacturer we have to meet it.

‘There is no way that we will pay penalties, not from an ethical point of view nor from a business point of view.’

The ZEV mandate requires a certain percentage of the sales of every car manufacturer to be electric, otherwise, firms will face financial penalties.

This year, the required percentage is 22 per cent, rising each year to 80 per cent in 2030.

Car makers unable to meet their targets will be fined, with the government proposing a £15,000 penalty for every non-electric car and £18,000 per non-electric van they miss their target by.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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