Buick has declared a move to EV-dominated sales that will begin in 2024, requiring quite a bit of change for Buick dealers across the country. Last year, General Motors offered a buyout to dealers unable to make the necessary changes. Several of those dealers are taking the buyout, leaving car shoppers with fewer Buick locations to visit. Let’s find out what this means and how it happened.
Buick’s Electric Vehicle Plans
Buick’s website shows that a Wildcat EV Concept with forward-thinking technology features like a built-in Alexa and automatic parking assist is set to be released in 2024. This is the first of the new electric vehicles to send Buick leaping into the future of automotive tech.
But to get there, Buick dealers will need to be able to accommodate the charging, storing, selling, and maintaining of electric vehicles. So GM, while making this a mandatory change for dealers, also offered those same dealers the ability to refuse via a buyout.
General Motors’ Offer for Buick Dealers Ahead of the Electric Vehicle Introduction
The estimated cost to make this change for dealers is between $300,000 and $400,000. Some of Buick’s dealerships consider it a reasonable and necessary amount they’re willing to pay to continue offering Buick vehicles.
However, GM is tight-lipped about how much the buyout would be worth – as are the dealers taking it. The automaker is also tight-lipped about how many of its 2,000 total Buick dealer locations are being bought out, but information from anonymous owners paints a decent picture.
The Dealers Taking GM’s Offer for a Buyout
Signs point to many rural, small dealers taking GM’s buyout while bigger, more profitable sites remain open. This could also be because many successful owners purchase multiple dealership locations – one location can subsidize another’s changes if there’s enough profit.
In a statement to the Free Press in December 2022, Buick spokesman Sean Poppitt said, “We see Buick’s dealer network as a business advantage, and they will remain a critical part of the retail and relationship chain with customers. Accepting an offer is voluntary, but all Buick dealers who remain must be adequately prepared to sell and service Buick EVs.”
He said he couldn’t make any other comments on the buyouts but encouraged any dealers interested to contact the Buick team for more information.
What This Means for Buick
As the number of Buick dealers decreases, inventory will have to be shifted around, and customers will have a harder time finding local dealerships to visit in person for test drives and purchases.
On the other hand, the remaining dealers will have more inventory and be better equipped to handle and help an influx of customers – creating a better experience for customers and more profit for dealers.
It’s just a matter of time to find out which will come out on top – the benefits or the drawbacks of this buyout. Either way, start looking forward to Buick’s new EVs and check in with your local Buick dealer to ensure they’re still selling!
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