Keith McCluskey, the Chevrolet National Dealer Council chairman, has his sights aimed high as the veteran automaker increases its efforts to break into the growing electric vehicle sector. Amidst parent company General Motors’ continued EV efforts, McCluskey maintained that Chevrolet dealers are looking to beat a formidable rival — Tesla.
“We want to beat Tesla on EVs. We want to meet demand,” McCluskey said.
McCluskey’s statement presents a rather different stance compared to General Motors CEO Mary Barra, who has suggested in the past that GM is already leading the EV revolution. Ultimately, the dealer council chairman’s message bodes well for Chevrolet’s future efforts in the electric vehicle sector, as it suggests that Chevy dealers are ready to push EVs seriously.
The reservations of vehicles like the Ford F-150 Lightning and, more recently, the Chevy Silverado EV, have proven that even conventional vehicle buyers are excited about upcoming electric vehicles. Unveiled in January at CES, the Silverado EV has logged in more than 110,000 reservations. About 240 fleet operators have placed orders for the all-electric pickup truck as well.
GM has committed to invest $35 billion towards its electric vehicle transition. The company also plans to launch 30 EVs worldwide through 2025. This is a significantly different narrative compared to a few years ago, when veteran car dealers were reportedly actively dissuading customers from purchasing electric cars.
Back in 2016, the Sierra Club sent out volunteers to over 300 dealerships across the United States. The volunteers were tasked to inquire about electric vehicles. The results were discouraging, as dealers from companies like Ford and GM proved dismissive if not hostile to electric cars. EVs were not charged, they were mocked as “golf cars,” and there were no electric cars available for test drives. Sierra Club members who participated in the test also noted that they were heavily pushed into buying internal combustion cars instead.
Being General Motors’ high-volume brand, expectations are high that Chevrolet would be producing electric vehicles from numerous price points for consumers. This should be covered by not only the Silverado EV but vehicles like the electric Equinox and Blazer as well. The electric Equinox is expected to start at around $30,000, a price that should make it competitive against popular EVs in the market like the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y.
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