General Motors (GM) has acquired approximately half of its Buick dealerships across the United States as a result of their reluctance to promote electric vehicles (EVs) during GM’s transition to an electric future. Roughly 1,000 of GM’s 2,000 Buick dealerships opted for the voluntary buyout, which remains open for additional dealers to choose instead of making the required EV-related investments GM deems necessary for continued Buick sales. GM aims for the Buick brand to be entirely electric by 2030.
A company spokesperson emphasized Buick’s transformation, highlighting the launch of the brand’s best-ever vehicles and its status as the fastest-growing mainstream brand in 2023. The statement underlined the need for the transition to EVs to be supported by an exceptional customer experience. GM has offered a structured and respectful exit for dealers not aligned with Buick’s future, with the full backing of the National Dealer Council.
Last year, GM initiated buyouts for its Buick dealers, urging them to invest a minimum of $300,000 to facilitate the sale and servicing of electric vehicles. This investment included initiatives such as installing EV chargers and training staff. Dealers who did not comply were required to relinquish the Buick franchise.
Buick’s statement highlighted that sales have surged by nearly 60% this year, even as the number of dealer points decreased by 47%. Despite the reduction, approximately 90% of the U.S. population resides within a roughly 25-mile radius of a Buick dealer, ensuring continued access to parts and service.
Dealers who accepted the buyout will no longer sell Buick vehicles but can continue to sell vehicles from other GM brands, such as Chevrolet or GMC.
This move follows a similar buyout program implemented by GM for Cadillac dealers in 2020, reducing the number of dealerships in Cadillac’s network by approximately one-third.
The broader auto industry has seen varying levels of enthusiasm for the EV transition, with some dealers expressing hesitation. Last month, a group of over 3,000 dealers penned an open letter to President Biden, urging caution and reconsideration of EV mandates due to the current soft demand for EVs.
By: Big Sky Headlines staff