Over 40% Of Cadillac Dealers Opt Out Of Selling The ELR Due To Low Return On Investment
Last April, Cadillac sent out a letter to their dealer body describing the requirements to be an ELR dealer.
ELR-certified dealerships are required to provide:
- at least two charging stations on site – with one in the service area and the other outside of the building
- at least one salesperson must be trained in the features that make the ELR unique
- about $15,000 in total costs to be “ELR certified”
At the time Cadillac’s global marketing boss, Jim Vurpillat knew those criteria would mean that some Cadillac dealers who didn’t figure to sell a lot of ELRs would opt out saying:
“…when you are a small dealer you have to look at that and say, ‘how many am I going to sell over the life of the car versus the initial investment.’ So we will see.”
Now, via a report from Edmunds at the Chicago Auto Show, we can put a number on how many Caddy dealers are out – 410. And Mr. Vurpillat has an updated statement on the matter:
“We have a pretty good representation in rural markets because we are dualed up with other (General Motors) brands. It is a great service advantage.” said the Caddy manager to Edmunds. But those dealers “might look at (ELR) and say, ‘Ok, if I sell one of these, I got to have service charging stations, special training, a sales area. I have to buy special tools.”
“If they don’t think they will sell more than one or two units a year, they would do the numbers, and it is probably not worth it.” Mr. Vurpillat added, “They are not selling a lot of electric vehicles in Iowa.”
The Cadillac ELR starts at $75,995 (full specs and performance figures can be found here) and it has the ability to travel 37 miles on just electricity.
In the vehicle’s first 6 weeks on the market (through the end of January), GM sold 47 copies on little supply, but numbers look to improve from here on out as the Caddy boss said that deliveries “will start in earnest this month.”
Just as a reminder, the first 1,000 purchasers of an ELR also get a “free” snazzy charging station to go with the luxury coupe.