Chevrolet won’t follow the lead set by Cadillac and Buick, and won’t offer buyouts to dealers who opt not to make the necessary updates to sell electric vehicles. The brand will, therefore, allow its dealers to continue selling ICE vehicles alone.
Scott Bell, the global vice president of Chevrolet, told The Verge that because the brand has been selling EVs for years, the dealers that make up 95 percent of its sales are already selling at least one electric vehicle, the Bolt.
To Bell, that points to a general willingness among Chevy dealers to spend money on upgrading dealerships to sell EVs. Once the electric Silverado, Blazer, and Equinox are ready to be sold, there will be plenty of dealerships to sell them.
It is, therefore, not interested in following Cadillac and Buick’s lead and requiring that dealers update to accommodate EVs or take a buyout and be barred from selling Chevy products. Instead, Bell sees it as an opportunity for his brand.
“The minute they pull back and say, ‘You know what, I’m not ready to go all in for those brands,’ they’re now 100 percent a Chevy dealer, which is a good thing for Chevrolet,” he said.
Dealers Could Spend Up To $300,000 Per Shop
Preparing a dealership for EV sales can be expensive, costing as much $300,000 per dealership. Requiring charging stations, special equipment, and training, the changeover to EVs can be challenging. But as the industry moves increasingly towards the novel technology, there is money in making the switch, and many Chevrolet dealers are intent on making the change.
And Bell believes that his brand is doing what it has to in order to satisfy dealers who do want to make the switch.
“Lyriqs and Hummers are awesome, but these are the three biggest segments in the market,” Bell said, referring to the Silverado, Blazer, and Equinox. “I won’t make a bombastic claim here today, but nobody else is going to touch this.”