One of the largest obstacles Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen has to overcome in transforming the brand into a real player in the luxury automotive market is changing the dealers. A Cadillac dealer experience is currently much different than your average Mercedes-Benz or Audi visit, but General Motors’ dealer issues aren’t exclusive to its luxury division.
A recent piece written by a Chevrolet Volt owner for Forbes highlights what might be wrong with the Chevrolet dealer experience when shopping for the plug-in hybrid Volt. To help bring some of the problems to the surface, the writer made a brief stop at a local Tesla dealer and service center.
The Tesla dealer was “clean,” according to Forbes, and its service area was “as pristine as the showroom.” Furthermore, the service technician “sounded more like an engineer than a service guy,” and “described maintenance like he was fine tuning a corporate server, not a car.” In conclusion, the writer felt like he was “looking into the future.”
Not long after paying a visit to the Tesla dealer, our Volt driver stopped by the local Chevy store for comparison’s sake. His first impression was that it was “primarily a Silverado and truck dealer,” with some sedans scattered throughout, and a Corvette serving as the showroom centerpiece. Way off in the corner was the sole Volt on the lot, and the salesmen didn’t seem interested in moving it.
Comparing these two stores isn’t comparing apples to apples, but it does highlight some obvious issues with buying a Volt. Forbes advises Chevy to “at least pretend to compete with Tesla,” if your going to offer an alternative to their cars. The last thing a progressive- forward-thinking EV driver wants to feel is that the dealer they bought their car from is living in the past, especially if they can go down the street and see the future.