GM is looking at introducing regional electric vehicle inventory lots, which will allow it to quickly ship EVs to nearby dealerships rather than storing them directly on a dealer’s lot.
According to Automotive News, GM could begin experimenting with the electric vehicle inventory lots later this year when it launches the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV. Under this strategy, several dealerships in one geographical area would share a single pool of Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV inventory and would pull from the lot as needed. Delivery from the lot would take only a few days, as opposed to the weeks-long delivery timeframe usually given to dealers when a vehicle is shipped directly from the production plant.
There are a number of different reasons why GM is exploring the idea of regional inventory lots for EVs. For starters, this would allow dealerships to have quick and easy access to GM’s battery-powered products without having to sacrifice floor or lot space to keep them in stock. This could be beneficial to dealerships in areas where EV sales may not be strong, allowing them to stock more of the automaker’s hot-selling products like the Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra without having to forego selling its EV products altogether.
Additionally, with the COVID-19 pandemic convincing more consumers to shop for a car online, dealers may have less incentive to keep a wide variety of vehicles in their inventory. This way they can reduce floorplan costs by having fewer vehicles on-site but will still have the option to sell those nameplates.
A GM spokesperson told AN that inventory lots are among several strategies it’s considering to change the way it sells vehicles amid its EV transition.
“EV inventory pools are just one of the ideas we’re investigating, working closely with our dealer councils, to support the expansion of EVs,” the person said.
Earlier this month, GM announced it would soon launch a new EV-focused digital retail tool powered by software company Tekion. The Tekion software will allow consumers to easily search for and purchase a GM EV online from a GM dealership, giving it a Tesla-style sales model while adhering to state dealership franchise laws.
The 2022 Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV will arrive at GM dealers this summer, at which point we may begin to receive more official information regarding GM’s future EV sales strategies.