Which Comes First, Electric Car Acceptance or the End of Car Dealerships?
The Future is Electric, But When?
Last year battery-powered vehicles made up fewer than 2% of U.S. auto sales. Tesla sold nearly all of them.
Despite the big push towards electric by dealers, Biden, the media, and climate fear mongers, Car Dealers Struggle to Square Industry Enthusiasm With Shoppers’ Reality
Auto makers are moving aggressively to expand their electric-vehicle offerings with dozens of new models set to arrive in coming years. About 180 GM dealers, or roughly 20%, have decided to give up their Cadillac franchises rather than invest in costly upgrades that GM has required to sell electric cars.
“The biggest challenge is that dealers have a bit of ‘boy who cried wolf’ syndrome,” said Massachusetts dealer Chris Lemley.
Car companies have promised for years to make electric cars mainstream, but produced only low-volume, niche models. “So when we are told, ‘This time, we really mean it,’ it’s easy to be skeptical,” Mr. Lemley added.
Tesla Inc.’s influence on the electric-car market has created a new standard for car shoppers, offering an online transaction and a simplified lineup with no price negotiation.
Volvo Cars CEO Håkan Samuelsson recently said that all future battery-electric vehicles would be sold exclusively online and the price would be set centrally, eliminating the ability to haggle.
“The marketplace is moving from the physical dealership to online. That’s what will happen in the next 10 years,” Mr. Samuelsson said.
Best-Selling Electric Vehicles in 2020
GM's Electric Pledge
The WSJ notes that Chevrolet dealer Brad Sowers sold 4,000 cars last year. He sold only 9 electric Bolts.
On January 28, I noted GM to Phase Out Gas-Powered Vehicles by 2035, Carbon Neutral by 2040
That's one heck of a commitment given Tesla has about a 79% share of the 2% of total sales that are electric.
Volvo to Make Only Electric Vehicles by 2030
MarketWatch reports Volvo to Make Only Electric Vehicles by 2030 and Require Online Purchase.
The Swedish automaker said Tuesday that it is phasing out the production of all cars with internal combustion engines — including hybrids
“There is no long-term future for cars with an internal combustion engine,” said Henrik Green, Volvo’s chief technology officer.
Despite the rising number of EVs available in the U.S., fully electric vehicles accounted for less than 2% of new vehicle sales last year. Americans continue to spend record amounts on gas-powered trucks and SUVs.
How Will Dealers Fit In?
Let's assume GM pulls off this seemingly miraculous feat despite current customer preferences.
What About Service?
Dealers make a lot of money off of service.
What are the service departments and mechanics going to do?
Service won't go away entirely, but the lion's will be body shops and tires, not oil changes and expensive engine tune-ups.
Death of the Dealer
One way or another, the death of the auto dealer as we know them today is not that far off.
But before any of this happens, we need better batteries, cheaper batteries, faster charging batteries, and more battery charging or battery swapping stations.
Big Bang Theory