Chevrolet Global Vice President Scott Bell has said that he will not offer dealerships a buyout if they don’t sell electric vehicles.
In recent years, General Motors brands Buick and Cadillac have announced that they will give dealers a buyout option if they are unwilling to sell electric vehicles. However, according to The Verge, the same opportunity will not be available to Chevy dealerships. This has made many curious; what is GM’s plan for their dealership network?
Cadillac was the first GM brand to offer dealers a buyout option if they were unwilling to invest in sales electrification and its associated investments. This meant that the brand would pay the dealer a one-time payment to back out of their dealership contract, but they would no longer be able to sell vehicles from the brand. According to The Verge, roughly one-third of dealerships took the opportunity before the option closed earlier this year.
Chevy’s Global Vice President Scott Bell stated that he would not be taking the same path, and the Chevy leader sees this as an opportunity. As other GM brands exit these dealerships, he argues that they will likely shift to sell more Chevy vehicles and further expand the Chevy brand.
This is yet another reminder that GM can be a dysfunctional family of brands, to say the least (look at Saturn). But unlike GM’s main competitor, Ford, it is unclear how they will change their dealership system to remain competitive in the coming years. Furthermore, the brand buyout option has many wondering; why give the dealers the chance to leave their dealer contracts at all? Couldn’t the manufacturer force the dealer to sell EVs by making them the only option?
Ford CEO Jim Farley has laid out a series of changes that he would like to implement to modernize Ford’s dealership network, primarily by decreasing dealer inventory and increasing the use of the custom order system. Mary Barra has not made the same commitments, but the clock is ticking, and GM will need to act fast if they want to remain competitive.
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