Plugins Galore: Buy Your EV At The Appliance Store
For decades, car dealers had nightmares about being put out of business by non-car dealers. Cars at Costco? S-Class at Sam’s Club? Except for occasional trials that always flopped, it never happened. As it turns out, not big box stores, but the manufacturers themselves are the dealers’ biggest nightmare. Instead of facing competition that tries to sell cars along with detergent and 2 for the price of 1 peanut butter, car dealers are being culled like mad cows.
Now, there is a new threat: There will be cars that are plugged-in like appliances: EVs. So why not sell a plug-in along with all the other plug-ins, such as washer/dryers? If you are already moving ranges, why not a range of electric cars? That nightmare scenario is already shaping up in Japan.
Mitsubishi told The Nikkei [sub] today that it will partner with home appliance retailer Bic Camera to promote its i-MiEV EV. Despite its name, Bic is much more than a camera store. With more than 27 locations, mostly in and around of Tokyo, it’s the Japanese equivalent of Best Buy and Circuit City of lore.
For starters, four Bic Camera stores in the greater Tokyo area will display the pluggable car and host test-driving events. If people want to buy the car, they will be steered to Mitsubishi dealerships, but who knows how long that may last. Bic Camera is already on record that they actually want to sell EVs at their outlets.
Yamada Denki, Japan’s largest home appliance retailer, is also thinking about selling electric cars at its stores in and near Tokyo, says the Nikkei.
For all who had been complaining about appliance cars: They appear to be closer than we think. Personally, I think EVs will share the same future as the Betamax, the Segway, or the Sony Aibo. Let’s hope I’m wrong.
Robert Schwartz on Nov 09, 2010
"Personally, I think EVs will share the same future as the Betamax, the Segway, or the Sony Aibo. Let’s hope I’m wrong." I agree with you as to the non future of the BEV, but why should I hope you are wrong? Do you think I want to drive around in an oversized golf cart?
Joeaverage on Nov 09, 2010
So will buying a car from a big box retailer be like buying a scooter or tractor from an import tool store like NorthernTool? So where do you get parts? Where are the mechanics with experience with that brand? I understand that a regular repair shop can work on a Chevy but I'm not going to expect them to have much experience with a vehicle made in China or India until those vehicles or products are widespread.
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