Reuters is reporting that Ford
will be shrinking its dealer
base over the next three years in order to better align its distribution network with a market share that is smaller than it has been in the past. Dealers were told of the planned reduction at the dealer meeting in Las Vegas last month. The East Coast and California have the highest saturation of Ford dealerships
and are likely to see the largest reduction in numbers. At the moment there are about 4,300 Ford dealerships operating in the U.S.
This is tough but smart call by Ford. It would be easy for Ford to use the belief that its market share will begin climbing again in the near future as an excuse to keep its dealer network intact. However, shrinking the dealer network now to more comfortably handle its reduced production capacity, it appears Ford is accepting its current situation and trying to build a smaller, more efficient Blue Oval.