Some General Motors dealers are pushing back against a new agreement that would require them to make costly investments in preparation for the arrival of future electric vehicles like the Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV.
The agreement directs dealers to spend between $120,000 to $200,000 to prepare for the automaker’s incoming flux of new EVs, with various investments required for both sales and service.
According to Automotive News, some rural GM dealers believe they won’t see a return on their investments, as their customers have shown little interest in electric vehicles. Only a third of dealerships in Virginia signed the contract, the publication reports, and GM has also seen pushback in North Carolina and Florida. Some dealers have no problem with selling electric vehicles or making additional investments to do so, AN also said, but see no need for a separate agreement just because a new model is electric.
“They do not believe that all of a sudden when the factory comes out with a new car or a new line of cars that they should have to sign a separate agreement,” North Carolina Automotive Dealer Association President, Bob Glaser, explained. “If I’m a Buick dealer, I should be able to sell all Buicks.”
GM North America president Steve Carlisle told AN the investments were “a necessary step that we need to take to achieve our vision of an electrified future.” He also said that as GM reveals new EVs, like the Lyriq, Hummer EV and next-generation Chevrolet Bolt EV, consumers will become familiarized with the models and EV demand will increase.
“As we roll out products and that adoption curve kicks in, the volume will grow,” said Carlisle. “We certainly expect that there will be a return on that. That’s our mutual future.”