In 2022, General Motors presented Buick dealers across the country with a simple choice: either invest a significant amount of money into making electric vehicles or choose to buy them. A year later, the brand has lost nearly half of its dealerships as it prepares to launch its first electric cars.
The number of Buick dealerships in the United States is set to decline by nearly 47% by 2023, according to trade journal Automotive News. At the beginning of the year, the network had 1,958 stores; By December, that number had risen to about 1,000. In the coming weeks, as the buyback program remains open and continues, more dealers may opt out.
Exact numbers weren’t released, so we don’t know exactly how much a dealer could get from General Motors if they chose to leave, or how much a dealer would have to spend to stay with the brand. However, according to Automotive News, the latter figure is between $300,000 and $400,000. In particular, dealers must invest in equipment (such as charging stations) and training.
Buick doesn’t seem fazed by this exit.
“I’m very happy with where we are. The network, as it stands now, is a reasonable size. It’s made up of dealers who are focused on their business and have shown that they can return to the dealer block. They stopped doing that,” said company boss Duncan Aldred. According to Automotive News. , dealers choosing to stop selling Buick models accounted for about 20% of the brand’s U.S. sales, and nearly 89 percent of the U.S. population still lives within 25 miles of its dealership, Buick told the newspaper.
General Motors extended the same deal to Cadillac dealerships in 2020, and about 150 stores have reportedly opted out. For reference, the dealer network had 880 locations in the U.S. before management proposed the acquisition. The exiting dealers received between $300,000 and $500,000, compared to about $200,000 when preparing to sell the electric cars, the report added.
With information from Autoblog
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