Buick dealerships face big bill to sell EVs

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All across the industry, dealerships are having to invest in new training, tools, and equipment to support electric vehicles, and the amounts that have to be spent aren’t insignificant.

Buick spokesman Sean Poppitt in a statement to Automotive News (subscription required) published on Tuesday said the investment required to upgrade a Buick dealership for EVs is between $300,000 and $400,000 on average.

There are currently around 2,000 Buick dealerships in the U.S. For those stores unwilling to make the investment, General Motors has provided them with a buyout offer.

Poppitt confirmed the buyout plan but didn’t say how many dealerships had accepted the offer, if any. In most cases, dealerships selling Buicks also sell vehicles from at least one other brand, so a store could accept the offer and stay in business selling other brands.

A similar offer made to Cadillac dealerships saw about two thirds reject the offer in favor of the EV future. Around two thirds of Ford’s dealerships also plan to invest in upgrades for EVs.

Buick doesn’t sell any EVs, at least in the U.S. That situation will change soon as Buick has confirmed two EVs for its U.S. lineup by the end of 2023. One will have conventional proportions, while the other will sport a more coupe-like profile. The U.S. EVs, which may be called Electra and Electra GS, respectively, are expected to feature styling previewed by Buick’s Wildcat EV concept unveiled in June. Buick will also cease launching gas-powered vehicles in the U.S. as soon as 2024. Its lineup is expected to consist solely of EVs by 2030.



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