Cadillac making charger investment mandatory for dealers, as brand moves mostly electric


As it prepares to launch multiple all-electric models, Cadillac is requiring dealerships to install charging stations, according to a recent Automotive News report.

The price of upgrades for the transition to electric cars is estimated at $200,000 per dealership, according to the report. While dealerships have been asked to install charging stations and invest in other EV-specific items in the past, this time it could be mandatory for all dealerships wishing to stay with the brand.

“Dealers who don’t think an investment of that size makes sense for their business could remain with Cadillac beyond November 1, but their future would be subject to discussions with brand officials,” Rory Harvey, vice president of Cadillac sales, service, and marketing, said in an interview with Automotive News.

Cadillac reportedly consulted its dealer council before instituting the requirement, which also includes any specialized employee training or tools needed to sell and service electric cars.

In the past, dealerships have opted out of selling electric models if they felt the return on investment would not be sufficient. Automotive News recently reported that “just over half” of dealerships have opted into selling the GMC Hummer EV electric pickup truck.

Cadillac Lyriq concept

Cadillac Lyriq concept

“Some dealers, especially those in rural areas and states where EVs are in low demand, have questioned the payoff of the money GM is asking them to spend,” the industry trade journal noted.

But with Cadillac’s new direction, that may not be an option. Cadillac is transitioning to mostly fully-electric vehicles by 2030, so to have the bulk of the lineup dealerships won’t be able to avoid one or two EVs and continue selling gasoline models.

Cadillac has hinted that an all-electric alternative to the popular—and profitable—Escalade will be part of that future plan.

The first of the confirmed electric models will be the Lyriq crossover, due in 2022.

Some of those dealerships might have good reason to be reluctant, if they consider GM’s plug-in efforts for Cadillac over the past decade. Cadillac’s last electrified effort—outside of the brief plug-in hybrid CT6—was the ELR, a coupe based on the Volt. That plug-in hybrid flopped, with just under 2,700 sold over just two model years.



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