the ford brand will transition to exclusively online, fixed-price, delivered-to-your-door sales for evs, ceo jim farley said, in a statement reported by usa today.
"we've got to go to non-negotiated price. we've got to go 100 percent online. there's no inventory [at dealerships]; it goes directly to the customer. and 100 percent remote pick up and delivery," he said during bernstein's annual strategic decisions conference, the paper reported.
it's unclear if ford also plans to implement this sales strategy shift for its non-ev products.
farley went on to say that he sees the physical locations of dealers as a huge opportunity to push an edge over competitors, but that the current stores will have to radically evolve. dealers can do it, he said, "but the standards are going to be brutal."
the fixed-price model has been tried by countless new car dealerships, used-car chains, and even manufacturers like saturn. yet it was tesla that showed that a successful automaker could fully rely on fixed-price sales. the ev juggernaut also pioneered an online ordering system that so-called legacy automakers have been struggling to replicate. if ford wants to be a huge player in this and take advantage of what farley sees as a historically significant market-share land grab, the company has to adapt to give the customers what they want. right now, as usa today notes, ford estimates that it spends $2000 more than tesla per car on distribution.
the company also intends to massively scale back advertising for its evs, another way it has to adapt. "if you ever see ford motor co. doing a super bowl ad on our electric vehicles, sell the stock," he said.
for the full breakdown of farley's remarks, check out the usa today story which explores post-sales service, the role of the super duty and other gas guzzlers, ev profitability, custom cars for uber and lyft, chinese evs, and "very large consolidation."
road & track has reached out to ford for additional comment on farley's statements.