In order to sell a product, you need to understand it.
From regenerative braking to kilowatt-hour ratings, the world of EVs comes with an entire dictionary of terms and concepts that most have no idea about, and the same goes for many of Ford's employees. In order to train up its staff, Ford is planning to open an "Electric University" to train its salespeople, technicians, and parts department consultants on all things EV. This comes at a time when Ford is getting ready to make big changes to the ways it sells cars and how its dealerships are run. The manufacturer, which currently offers EV products including the Mustang Mach-E, E-Transit Cargo Van, and upcoming F-150 Lightning, is set to push for an EV-dominant lineup in the near future, so this move is critical if it wants to remain competitive in the next few years.
The initiative will be run as a multi-day training program close to the company's Dearborn headquarters in Michigan and will provide a basic rundown of EV concepts, tech, and ownership benefits. "We're going to be able to send our people and immerse them in the world of electrification," said Tim Hovik, Ford's National Dealer Council chairman, in a recent interview with Automotive News. "This really is a transformative time in history. This is a different world." Training Its staff, especially those who are customer-facing, will be crucial if Ford is serious about playing a dominant role in the EV industry, but the company has experience with training its staff and customers in specialized vehicles and their operation - just look at Ford's Bronco Off-Rodeos where staff and customers get to learn all about the Bronco's remarkable capabilities.
The announcement of the program comes at a time where the very core nature of Ford's dealership program is changing. With the introduction of more EVs, Ford dealers will have to opt in to sell EVs and will have to meet certain standards before being approved. Nick Anderson, general manager of Chuck Anderson Ford in Excelsior Springs, told Automotive News that the amount of educational materials for new vehicles has seen a significant increase under CEO Jim Farley. "Ford's done a really good job getting all the new information out with online classes or tutorial videos to dealers," Anderson said. "They're bringing us more product knowledge information with easier access than ever before."
Ford plans on building 600,000 new EVs every year by the end of 2023, with new EV versions of popular models such as the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator, not to mention the F-150 Lightning, sure to see it achieve great sales successes.