Think just anyone can buy a dealership and start selling electric vehicles (EVs)? Not so fast, pal. Selling EVs is very serious business, just ask Ford dealers, who are gearing up to begin marketing the company’s first EV, the five-door hatchback 2012 Ford Focus Electric, starting later this spring.
Ford dealers must be certified to be allowed to sell the Focus, and according to a recent press release, getting certified sounds a little tougher than just answering a few true or false questions down at the DMV.
So far, 67 out of the approximately 1600 Ford dealerships in the United States have qualified to sell EVs. These dealerships are only in California, New York and New Jersey — markets that account for a large percentage of EV sales. Dealership test scores willing, Ford hopes to begin marketing the Focus Electric nationwide.
So just what does it take to make the grades that enable one to slap a window sticker on a Ford EV and ask, “What’s it gonna take to get you into to this sweet lil’ electric today?” According to Ford, qualifying dealers must have at least two onsite charging stations and participate in highly specialized training in the field of EVs. 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.
Sounds OK, so far. What else?
At least one Focus Electric must be available at all times for demonstrations and events.
No problem. Piece of cake. That it?
Each showroom must have have point-of-purchase display materials including digital assets and window signage.
Done and done. Anything else?