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Some Ford dealers are still uninformed on Mach-E charging; hampering EV adoption

macchiaz-o

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EV Bite called several dealerships in their area and asked them how one would charge a Mach-E. A few responses were okay, I guess, but by and large they are wrong.

This is really sad. Vehicle buyers should be able to make an informed decision on what type of car to buy. Outside of a dedicated BEV brand like Tesla, buyers who ask dealership salespeople simple questions like this are going to get uninformed, wrong answers that generally would steer anyone away from electric.

Will this change within the next three+ months when cars begin to arrive for general sale? I'm guessing no, but we'll see...

Here's their recording:

 

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EV Bite called several dealerships in their area and asked them how one would charge a Mach-E. A few responses were okay, I guess, but by and large they are wrong.

This is really sad. Vehicle buyers should be able to make an informed decision on what type of car to buy. Outside of a dedicated BEV brand like Tesla, buyers who ask dealership salespeople simple questions like this are going to get uninformed, wrong answers that generally would steer anyone away from electric.

Will this change within the next three+ months when cars begin to arrive for general sale? I'm guessing no, but we'll see...

Here's their recording:

Sweet Jesus. I especially liked the guy that said they would install a DCFC in his garage for him. Seriously, the last time I was on the phone with my dealer’s sales manager I asked him if he wanted me to be his MME salesperson. He said that might be good as I knew more than anyone there.
 

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I always take videos like this with a grain of salt. They're usually a very unfair sampling cherry-picked to make it look like most dealers are clueless.

That's not to say that some aren't. And that many dealerships don't still have a ways to go to get more informed about BEVs (that will be like 1/1000th of their sales this year for most dealers, BTW).

But I generally hate these "lets make a cherry-pick video to embarrass them!" videos.
 

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I am not ordering a Mach-E yet, but I plan to talk to the manager of the Ford dealer where I bought my Fusion Hybrid five years ago. At that time, only two salespersons (one was the woman who sold me the unit) knew abut hybrids. I wish to ask if the dealeship will bring the Mustang Mach-E to their lot since they (Caguas Expreessway) are the largest and oldest Ford dealership here. Since they do sell Ford Energi models, I will ask about their local charging facilities, both Level 2 AC and DCFC.

I wish the Mustang Mach-E will sell many units and become the leading EV in Puerto Rico. I might suggest becoming a spokeperson for the Mustang if they do bring it, and help sell the second EV offered here. The first EV is the Chevy Bolt EV sold at the GM dealership in the same city (Caguas) and that place does post ads offering the Bolt. There are some Tesla model S and X, but there is no service shop for those owners.
 
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I always take videos like this with a grain of salt. They're usually a very unfair sampling cherry-picked to make it look like most dealers are clueless.

That's not to say that some aren't. And that many dealerships don't still have a ways to go to get more informed about BEVs (that will be like 1/1000th of their sales this year for most dealers, BTW).

But I generally hate these "lets make a cherry-pick video to embarrass them!" videos.
Nothing was cherry picked. Both times we’ve done this, every single call was showcased.

Locations were not cherry picked either we simply called every opened EV certified dealer around us, sorted by distance.
 

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Nothing was cherry picked. Both times we’ve done this, every single call was showcased.

Locations were not cherry picked either we simply called every opened EV certified dealer around us, sorted by distance.
Fair enough. While many YouTube videos of this sort clearly are cherry-picked, I'll trust that yours aren't.
 
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macchiaz-o

macchiaz-o

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Fair enough. While many YouTube videos of this sort clearly are cherry-picked, I'll trust that yours aren't.
Even if they were cherry picked, let's say 5 out of 10 calls were like these, it still tells us that we still have a long way to go to getting folks educated about electric cars.

Remember, there are still plenty of active conversations out there about how "many" Ford dealers are asking for $15k ADM on Mustang Mach-E, even though this myth was based on ONE forum poster's experience about ONE dealer that was doing that prior to the official start of reservation conversions.

At least in this case, EV Bites' blog about salespeople's lack of EV car charging knowledge represents an actual systemic problem.

A friend of mine shared a similar experience when he was buying his Nissan Leaf in 2016. By that point, the Leaf had already been widely available at local dealers so there was even less of an excuse for salespeople not understanding how to sell it. It's just really sad... I want a lot more EV options to choose from in the US, but it seems we'll have a really long road to get there.
 

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I want a lot more EV options to choose from in the US, but it seems we'll have a really long road to get there.
No doubt. It's still brand spanking new to nearly all of them. And most of them will be selling maybe 2-3 MMEs over the next year. I know that's making excuses, but it's realistic to expect very little attention paid to it yet by the bulk of the staff yet.

But having said that, yes, each dealership should have one designated person that's the "specialist" for such a rare exception to 99% of their products. I know COVID ruined Ford's normal training process for the MME (they usually send a training rep to each dealership), but still, somebody there should know more by now. I'd have hoped maybe half the dealerships would have such a person available to handle such a call.

I'm just not fond of these types of "put them on the spot" secret phone recordings. They kinda rub me the wrong way. I can just imagine being the poor guy that gets the call and finds his conversation recorded and posted to YouTube so he can be embarrassed.
 
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Yeah I totally agree, Tim.

My dealer has two MME specialists. One in Fleet sales, one in Internet sales. And maybe their general sales manager as well.

There are at least 27 others who might answer this phone call. They all work on commission. How likely are any of them to transfer the call to one of their peers? The person originally taking the call would get zero commission, and maybe the guy on the phone ends up buying an Explorer. Deal lost, and it's unfair...

Anyway, kudos to all the salespeople that were featured in the video -- none of them resorted to any high pressure tactics, and no attempts at trying to move cars already sitting on the lot.

My dad sold Fords at a dealer in Florida for about 15 years, so I do feel for these guys. It's a tough job, many unpaid overtime hours, standing in the sun and surrounded by chain smoking coworkers, little pay and lots of shenanigans from management.
 

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I agree
Nothing was cherry picked. Both times we’ve done this, every single call was showcased.

Locations were not cherry picked either we simply called every opened EV certified dealer around us, sorted by distance.
There is a systemic problem. Why Ford corporate has embraced electrification, Mass Ford dealers have not. I’m not surprised this even includes EV-Certified dealers.
 

dbsb3233

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I agree

There is a systemic problem. Why Ford corporate has embraced electrification, Mass Ford dealers have not. I’m not surprised this even includes EV-Certified dealers.
They'll get there. Remember that they don't have any MMEs on the lot to sell yet. That's the main focus of salesmen on car lots - pushing inventory. Could be another 9-15 months before dealers actually have an inventory of MMEs in stock on the lot to sell like normal.

Until then, it's pretty much all internet orders. And those are usually buyers that have done their own homework researching vehicle specs and capabilities. The Mach-e basically sells itself right now.

And frankly with COVID, I think dealership employees were more worried about still having a paycheck next month, not a car coming out a year away from lot inventory (while they're standing in the unemployment line).
 

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In all fairness, salespeople tend to still be uninformed about everything, not just EVs.

I remember when I picked up my last new vehicle the salesman was trying for at least half an hour to show me how Android Auto worked with it. I ended up having to search the internet and found out my model didn't have this function.
 

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In all fairness, salespeople tend to still be uninformed about everything, not just EVs.

I remember when I picked up my last new vehicle the salesman was trying for at least half an hour to show me how Android Auto worked with it. I ended up having to search the internet and found out my model didn't have this function.
At this point, I liken it to a "special order" product out of the catalog. If you go into an electronics store or an appliance store, they're usually gonna know a lot more about the models they have on the floor too, and probably very little about the models that can be special ordered out of the catalog. Especially when it's a model that's a totally different type (like an electric lawnmower when all they usually sell are gas ones).

But when they actually have a row of MMEs on the lot to sell, next to the Escapes and the the Explorers, I expect it to be a different matter. With such limited supply though, that may be quite a ways off. The 2021's are probably be all get grabbed up as special order. And who knows, maybe the 2022's too.
 



 









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