Few Invest in Electrification Despite Costs
Buick’s transition to an all-electric vehicle (EV) label has elicited negative feedback – not from buyers but from sellers who decided to vend the marque’s upcoming EVs or opt out entirely.
It has been reported by Automotive News that the Buick retail dealer network in the US has dropped to about half its previous size, with suppliers selecting the buyout option rather than investing funds on renovating for the trade and repair of electrical vehicles.
General Motors has declared they will finish 2023 with approximately 1,000 Buick sellers – significantly lower from the start of the year when Automotive News’ yearly businessperson record showed 1,958, representing a reduction of 47%. Duncan Aldred, Global Vice President for Buick-GMC, declared those distributors who left the brand were responsible for around 20% of Buick’s US sales.
Unperturbed by this development, Buick states 89% of the US populace is still within 25 miles of a sculpted showroom offering its autos. In spite of fewer dealers, from November the same year last, the conglomerate has noted an outstanding 58% surge in sales, mostly attributed to the Encore GX and Envision models. Moreover, ever since August, Buick has witnessed commendable success with its latest value-oriented release, the Envista which retails under $24k.
A Buick representative, Stefan Cross, previously told CarBuzz that they will be launching and unveiling their debut electric car built in North America in the year 2024.
“I’m really pleased with where we are,” Aldred expressed to Automotive News. “The network, at this point in time, is a good size. We have dealers who are invested in the business, and they have demonstrated that they can pick up the slack from the dealers who left.”
In the previous year, Buick declared that dealerships would be required to make an investment of $300,000 to $400,000 in tools, machinery, and training programs to equip themselves to adopt the electric vehicle (EV). If they decided not to, buyouts were available as an alternate option.
Cadillac experienced the same course of action, resulting in a one-third reduction of its 900 dealerships opting for the buyout. Conversely, Lincoln declared their aim to cut back, due to electrification pressures; however, they haven’t made transparent that a buyout is an alternative.
Meanwhile, Chevrolet and Stellantis chose to take a different approach. They are not mandating their dealers to modernize, rather teaming up with a Michigan corporation by the name of Future Energy to give counsel to merchants about EV-related problems, along with consulting for the subsidy application to support refurbishing upgrades.