GM Considers Sharing Chevy Bolt Between Dealers

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
gm considers sharing chevy bolt between dealers

The latest from Detroit has General Motors considering tweaking its delivery strategy for electric vehicles. While this appears to tangentially fall into the industry trend of trying to shove EVs into an online sales model, GM’s plan is distinctive and would introduce centralized inventory lots for the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt ( hatchback and EUV) before Christmas. But we can already see the dual-sized nature of the plan that will be used to promote and condemn it, should things move forward.

General Motors could be seen as throwing dealerships a bone by finding a way for those located in areas where EV buyers are less prevalent to provide their customers with electrified options. This saves them from having to prep their lots for charging and making space for vehicles people might not bother buying until the technology has further matured. However, with industry giants (including GM) vowing to continue making more of their lineup battery-powered, dealers might also view this as a coy way for the manufacturer to obtain more control over retail operations. Other manufacturers have already explained that they want to prioritize online sales of electric automobiles, with the end result likely mimicking the Tesla sales model … something that doesn’t include traditional dealerships.

Automotive News, which first reported GM pondering the delivery plan, described it as “a page out of Amazon’s playbook.” It also added that the strategy would be worked into the manufacturer’s broader ambition of digitizing both product and sales.

From AN:

GM plans to launch at least 30 EVs globally by mid-decade, including 20 in North America, and it’s targeting a zero-emission lineup of light vehicles by 2035. As the automaker outlines significant EV promises, executives are calling for a change in the retail model to cut out unnecessary costs and improve customer experience.

At least initially, customers who want to purchase an electric GMC Hummer pickup or Cadillac Lyriq, both due within the next year, will make a reservation with GM before connecting with a dealership. The automaker has also launched a tool for dealers to more easily track inventory from the plant to their stores and plans to implement a Tekion-powered digital retail tool for EVs as soon as this summer.

The Bolt pools would push GM further into using its EV goals to reshape dealership operations within the limitations of state franchise laws.

The company has previously suggested that it wanted to introduce a new retail platform for EVs But GM indicated that nothing has been decided. Though a verdict on the Bolts would need to be reached relatively quickly since they’re arriving this summer and the plan calls for having dedicated lots before year’s end.

“EV inventory pools are just one of the ideas we’re investigating, working closely with our dealer councils, to support the expansion of EVs,” explained a GM spokesperson.

[Images: General Motors]

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2 of 17 comments
  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Mar 23, 2021

    Dealers have traditionally been used by the factory as a production shock absorber...the factory has to run at a set speed, but demand fluctuates. The OEM can push that off on dealers, making them take stock, "Sales Bank", or encouraging sales of particular models....the Tesla Model does not have that shock absorber built in....

  • Akear Akear on Mar 25, 2021

    The Bolt continues to be GM worst selling passenger sedan. There are big problems for GM's electric vehicle push if they can barely move 20,000 Bolts a year. Does anyone here really believe GM will ever sell 10,000 EV hummers a year.

  • FreedMike Needs a few more HP to really spice things up...
  • Oberkanone Absolute insanity on our public roads! A danger to society. Bravo Dodge!
  • Lou_BC Cool car but 35k USD?
  • Lou_BC I've owned and ridden many litre class sport bikes. Those bikes render anything on 4 wheels boring. This is cool but even if I had the cash, it would be a hard pass.
  • Jeff S Some of us don't care either way we are not into this type of car. Most of these will be stored in garages waiting for their value to go up. As someone above noted this is an old body style which is retro 70s Challenger which after researching it came out in the 2008 MY which means a long run for a model that is in its 16th year. I have always liked these but if I bought one I would not spend this kind of money on one probably get the V-6 version and use it as a family car but then I am not into drag racing or muscle cars. For the type of car it is it has a decent rear seat and not too bad of a trunk. Most of us are not going to spend 100k for any vehicle at least currently so its not something most of us will buy and stick in a garage waiting for its value to increase. I am glad that these editions came out for those who can afford them and it keeps a little more color into what has become a very dull vehicle market but then with age I pick the dull appliance like reliable vehicle because that's what I need. Impressive car but not for me.