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Elon, we have a Problem!

Have you ever tried to buy an EV from a traditional big Motor Co Dealer?

  • No - not bothered - i have a functioning Tesla Store

    Votes: 23 50.0%
  • Yes - it was impossible.

    Votes: 6 13.0%
  • Yes , but they were not interested

    Votes: 14 30.4%
  • Yes & it worked well, their product knowledge was Impressive.

    Votes: 5 10.9%

  • Total voters
    46
  • Poll closed .

JKCOOKIE

Member
May 12, 2016
8
4
LONDON
I know you know, but ........BIG Motor has had over 100 years to foster and build journalistic relationships and lobby group funding. They spend big on advertising,( producing below the line sympathetic editorial aka advertorial) they spend big on away days, they are highly influential. The psychology background to this is why major retailers change their buyers every 3 years, because the human relationship has Significant power and influence.But can we change the global broad sheet motoring journalists ? Not a hope. Not only are we in the dawn of an Energy revolution but we are also in the dawn of a rather large turf war. But who bats on the EV team? Just Elon? Big motor might declare intent to join the EV revolution, but really the last thing their route to market business model needs is to actually sell cars that dont produce high quality downstream service revenues For their dealers. Seriously who ( which companies ) would join a new EV Manufacturer & Reseller Association -EVMRA to ensure knowledge was delivered at the point of sale at that it was consistent. TROUBLE AHEAD . HOW can we educate the consumer against such a headwind of negative influence. I am considering such a venture,( EVMRA) but i am bereft of possible members.
 

jelloslug

Active Member
Jul 21, 2015
4,736
6,416
Greenville, SC
For my Leaf, the Nissan dealer was a small one and they admitted that they did not know much about them. They were courteous but I really knew more about the car than they did. For the BMW i3, I bought it from a volume dealer so it was just another car to him. I think the BMW dealer had an EV specialist but they were also one of the largest BMW dealers in the US. I also tried to buy the i3 from a local dealer but they were so comically bad that I just left when they were trying to whip out the four square paper.
 
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Reactions: FatSal

McRat

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2016
5,771
6,077
LA
I've bought 3 EREVs from dealers and had no trouble, and test drove EVs/PHEVs. 2 knew less about the car than I did, 1 knew more.
This is the roughly same ratio I've found with all my car, truck, and motorcycle purchases. I do my home work, just like if I was making any other major purchase.

What I did not encounter was any dealer trying to talk me out of a plug-in if they had them for sale. Ever.

But I'm in California, which has one of the highest concentrations of EVs in the world, and I've bought at least 30 new vehicles in my life so far, I certainly would forget some if I tried to list them.

Vehicles are sold on 3 principles:

Need - Some folk need certain functionalities in motor vehicle. These are the lion's share of car buyers, and why cars like Camry's sell so well. They move people around in comfort and can haul groceries. All the requirements have been fulfilled at that point. However, need can also be competition or commercial purposes.

Desire - This is what sells most sports/sporty cars. It also sells unusual cars such as EVs. Teslas overwhelmingly sell on desire.

Status - People like to project an image to others in their houses and clothes, and certainly cars. This can even be a need for certain occupations. Teslas often sell for status as well, some of it need based. If you need to project a modern, forward-looking image no car does it better than a Tesla Model S. But even Priuses can fulfill the Status Issue. Country of origin can even come into play.

EVs for most buyers do not fill the most popular category. Need. You can chose a gas car to perform your tasks.

This explains why large automakers aren't beating you over the head daily with BUY EV marketing. We as a people don't 'need' them, which explains the sales levels. And it explains Tesla's success with the Model S/X. By not relying on Need, and focusing on Desire and Status, there is much bigger market than Need when it comes to EVs.
 

Unpilot

Sell order in at $5999.99
Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2017
5,292
43,230
A Coast
I think the OP has it right. I bought a Volt in 2014. I thought it was a great car (still do) but the way Chevy marketed it was a joke.
Most people who asked about it said but what about range or aren't you afraid you will get electrocuted in the rain?

When I went to buy the car at local dealer I walked out clueless would be a kind thing to say about the dealer.
In the end the car was great (my GF has it now)
 

McRat

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2016
5,771
6,077
LA
In California I'd add a (big) 4th to your list: access to car pool lanes.

I would list that as a 'need', such as needs-seating-for-six, or needs to haul tall objects, needs to handle ice and snow, needs to use HOV for commuting. How you use a car operationally is a need. Needs to compete in FS class on weekends while some might think of as a desire, is actually tied into the application.
 

neroden

Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan
Apr 25, 2011
14,676
63,885
Ithaca, NY, USA
We have a local dealer who decided to become a monopoly by buying out every other new car dealer in town. He refuses to stock any EVs.

This basically just drives people to other cities to buy cars, even if they are buying ICE cars, but particularly if they're buying EVs. It is what it is.
 
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JKCOOKIE

Member
May 12, 2016
8
4
LONDON
Sorry? Yelling? Do you mean the use of Caps for emphasis? Sorry to offend, but if that’s the case its not a recognised Forum, or E mail culture that pervades in the UK. Every day is a schol day. Thanks for the heads up.
Also thank you for the responses. I sense we have a much more difficult problem here in the UK Motor dealer market.As well as being a pro active EV enthusiast, I am an incurable Tesla fanboy MS owner with the full happy meal on order( Tiles, Batteries Model 3) . But The default 1st stop when shopping for a car is the Local dealers ( probably of the brand they already own) , and if they cant provide generic education and enthusiasm for EVs in General, the probability of the prospect having sufficient curiosity to find Tesla Is low.
 

CatB

Member
Supporting Member
Mar 2, 2013
898
741
Alexandria, VA
Sorry? Yelling? Do you mean the use of Caps for emphasis?

Welcome to our forum. It's a funny thing actually. In college I did just enough C coding to type everything in lower case. Went to work for IBM and was horrified at all the JCL-trained people who couldn't type without caps-lock on... but yeah, I've been known to visibly wince at all-caps now.

Back on-topic, I think we in the US actually need some more defensible data about how dealer model doesn't support good customer education or service - NADA (our dealers' association of associations) continually uses the argument that they provide valuable customer advocacy, in spite of the fact that very few actual customers would agree.
 

McRat

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2016
5,771
6,077
LA
  1. No.
  2. Yes - it was impossible because there were no cars.
  3. Yes - it was impossible because they refused to sell me one they had in stock and refused to order one.
  4. Yes - but I would have to order it so I didn't buy.
  5. Yes - I had to order it, but I bought one.
  6. Yes - but the sales experience was bad, so I didn't buy.
  7. Yes - the sales experience was bad, but I bought it anyways.
  8. Yes - but I decided not to buy one before completing the sale, but it was not the sales experience to blame.
  9. Yes - it worked well, with a good sales experience.
  10. Yes - Other, didn't buy.
  11. Yes - Other, did buy.
#8 is necessary because you could have not liked the test drive, didn't like the available configurations, or you could not get financing (this happens often).

#10 is necessary in case of landslide, fire, personal illness, arrest, tornado, earthquake, etc.
#11 is necessary because you walked in, bought it, drove away, and didn't even remember the experience as being notable.
 
Last edited:

comanchepilot

Member
Oct 3, 2017
404
414
SoCal - EAST
Wife bought a Volt in 2012. A 2013 model. She liked it ok - was for the car pool lane - the chevy dealers were chevy dealers -

Wife bought a Mercedes B class in April 2015 - lease ends in March 2018. Took a while to find one with the color ad options she wanted - it was 86 miles from our house - range was 84. We insisted the dealer trailer the car to either our house or her work so she could get it home. The dealer was totally clueless. Had to go all the way to the dealership manager for them to understand - 'distance to home 86 miles, vehicle range 84 miles. Doesn't do us any good to run out 5 miles short.' Response literally was 'just stop for gas . . .er . . . OK."

They trailered to home = alternative was losing the sale - MB GAVE the car away - the lease payment was $325 a month plus tax for a $50k sticker vehicle - most MB dealers are clue less about the car - I have brought it in for the battery dessicant cartridge replacement [covered service] and they had no idea what I was talking about - both times - same dealership - same service advisor.

Car was ok but there is something wrong with the motor now - its whining pretty badly under acceleration - will prob bring it in after a little minor body work is attended to before I bring it back.

Dec 2107 - wife took delivery on a Model S - she loves it. Believe it or not - its one of the good ones - slightly over 1000 miles and no final assembly under warranty yet.
 

Lloyd

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jan 12, 2011
6,337
2,207
San Luis Obispo, CA
I test drove a volt when they first came out from a chevy dealership. The sales people knew nothing about the vehicle and we not trained in the slightest. I taught them more about what they were selling!!!! Sad.......:(:(
 

5thgear

Member
Oct 16, 2017
70
49
NYC
I test drove a volt when they first came out from a chevy dealership. The sales people knew nothing about the vehicle and we not trained in the slightest. I taught them more about what they were selling!!!! Sad.......:(:(

When I went to the Chevy dealership to drive the Bolt, the walked me over to the Volt. It took a few minutes to sort out the confusion. Turns out they hadn't yet received any Bolts. Either they genuinely knew nothing about the Bolt, or they thought I was a complete moron and wouldn't know the difference. It's unfortunate that GM's awful dealers hurt the appeal of what are pretty great cars.
 

jaguar36

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
2,098
1,898
NJ
The BMW dealer here is reasonably knowledgeable about the i's.

Look at it from a dealer's perspective though, with the possible exception of the Bolt, every other EV out there is terrible. The only folks who would buy them and not be incredibly pissed off about it are the enthusiasts who are already knowledgeable about them. Until the legacy automakers start making EVs that are actually good, there is no reason to bother educating your sales staff on them. If the customer isn't already very familiar with an EV, you're much better off selling them a Camry or whatever.
 

GoTslaGo

Learning Member
Dec 25, 2015
3,063
4,740
US
When I went to the Chevy dealership to drive the Bolt, the walked me over to the Volt. It took a few minutes to sort out the confusion. Turns out they hadn't yet received any Bolts. Either they genuinely knew nothing about the Bolt, or they thought I was a complete moron and wouldn't know the difference. It's unfortunate that GM's awful dealers hurt the appeal of what are pretty great cars.

Maybe your salesperson has bad hearing (B or V) olt.... :rolleyes:

giving them the benefit of the doubt... :rolleyes:
 

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