Buick plans to have an all-electric lineup in the US and Canada by the end of the decade, and dealers will be essential to the success of the brand's shift to EVs.
Earlier this year, the GM-owned brand announced it would offer buyouts to its US dealers who are unwilling to invest in charging infrastructure and showroom upgrades. Now, Buick has revealed more details about the requirements its dealers will have to meet to be able to sell EVs.
In a statement to Automotive News, Buick spokesman Sean Poppitt said dealers who choose to stay with the brand will need to invest at least $300,000 to $400,000, on average, to sell its future EVs. The company representative added that the minimum investment required of dealership for tooling, training and other EV equipment is an estimated average and will vary based on the individual store.
"Acceptance of an offer is voluntary, but all Buick dealers who remain must be adequately prepared to sell and service Buick EVs," Poppitt said.
Gallery: 2023 Buick Electra E5
Buick says its dealer network will remain "a critical part of the retail and relationship chain with customers," but it will allow those dealers who do not share the brand's all-electric vision to exit now "on an elective basis before investment in essential training, tools, and special equipment is required."
Buick declined to reveal the number of dealerships that have chosen to take the buyout offer to date. "Any dealer who wants to discuss this program is strongly encouraged to contact the Buick team," read the statement. The brand had 1,963 US dealerships at the start of 2022, Automotive News' Dealer Census shows. Only 13 of those are standalone dealerships; the rest are paired with at least one other GM brand.
Buick will launch its first electric vehicle in the US in 2024 and does not plan to introduce any new gasoline-powered vehicles after 2024. The brand will use the Electra name for its EV lineup followed by an alphanumeric code to distinguish the models.
Buick's dealer buyout offer follows a similar program from Cadillac, which also aims to be all-electric by 2030. About a third of Cadillac's 900 US dealerships decided to take a buyout, and they were offered from $300,000 to $500,000. Cadillac dealers will be required to invest $200,000, on average, to prepare for selling and servicing EVs.
Source: Automotive News