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EV Transition-Can Dealers handle it?

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3 hours ago, kyle said:

 

Interesting optics and if it was as easy as filing a lawsuit not sure why this has not already occurred and proceeded to be such a slam dunk win. 

 

I've never thought of them being a supplier to other OEM's, and would think they would find an independent dealer network first (AutoNation, Sonic, etc.) first. Many of those are public traded companies and would obviously benefit tremendously. 


After some more research it appears some states have loopholes with regard to “pure direct distribution” where 100% of the sales are factory direct as opposed to legacy mfrs which would have a hybrid model.   Some states have also granted low volume exceptions.

 

So it is more gray and less black and white than I thought,  I still think we’ll see a lot more lawsuits as legacy mfrs start selling more BEVs and competing directly with direct to consumer mfrs.  But it sounds like those aren’t slam dunks and maybe the legislatures are more open to changes now.

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Direct sales aside, I think today there's a knowledge gap with the dealers and EV/PHEVs. I contacted a dealer about ordering an Escape PHEV and in our conversation I mentioned I wasn't ready to go full EV and the sales person tried to tell me the Escape PHEV was full electric and I was making a mistake. I don't know what Ford can do from an education standpoint given the independence of dealers but something needs to happen. I'd expect dealers to at least know the basics of ICE vs EV vs PHEV. Hopefully my experience is a unique one. 

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16 minutes ago, nate1 said:

Direct sales aside, I think today there's a knowledge gap with the dealers and EV/PHEVs. I contacted a dealer about ordering an Escape PHEV and in our conversation I mentioned I wasn't ready to go full EV and the sales person tried to tell me the Escape PHEV was full electric and I was making a mistake. I don't know what Ford can do from an education standpoint given the independence of dealers but something needs to happen. I'd expect dealers to at least know the basics of ICE vs EV vs PHEV. Hopefully my experience is a unique one. 


Sales people don’t even know ICE vehicles they’ve been selling for years.

 

One thing Ford could do is set up a dedicated consumer hotline/chat room for BEV information but only if it’s actually staffed with experts.  That would seem to match Tesla and Rivian online ordering experience.  They’re already allowing online build and price with reservations even though the dealer has to actually place the order and they still set the final price.

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20 hours ago, nate1 said:

Direct sales aside, I think today there's a knowledge gap with the dealers and EV/PHEVs. I contacted a dealer about ordering an Escape PHEV and in our conversation I mentioned I wasn't ready to go full EV and the sales person tried to tell me the Escape PHEV was full electric and I was making a mistake. I don't know what Ford can do from an education standpoint given the independence of dealers but something needs to happen. I'd expect dealers to at least know the basics of ICE vs EV vs PHEV. Hopefully my experience is a unique one. 

 

Ford has training and test requirements for sales representatives for every vehicle line. Without passing the tests and earning certification, they lose eligibility for Ford contests, incentives and bonuses paid directly from Ford. Unfortunately, there are still ways for individuals to circumvent the process and still get certified which doesn't benefit them with the knowledge thy need for their customers.  

Edited by ice-capades
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2 hours ago, ice-capades said:

 

Ford has training and test requirements for sales representatives for every vehicle line. Without passing the tests and earning certification, they lose eligibility for Ford contests, incentives and bonuses paid directly from Ford. Unfortunately, there's ways for individuals to circumvent the process and still get certified which doesn't benefit them with the knowledge thy need or their customers.  

 

Talking to most, they certainly don't know much, or at least don't retain it lol.

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1 hour ago, rmc523 said:

 

Talking to most, they certainly don't know much, or at least don't retain it lol.

 

Yeah is slightly surprising that people are buying the product know more then the sales person does alot of the time. 

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Dealers will take delivery of vehicles that consumers have ordered online directly from the manufacturer.  It's actually a win win for the dealer and consumer.  The dealers will still make money on the difference between invoice and MSRP.  Consumers will be able to order exactly what they want and will know what they are paying for the vehicle.  Dealers will no longer have to maintain large inventories and won't have the interest expense for those inventories.  Dealer F&I will still be there to make loans, sell extended warranties, etc. and generate revenue just like today.   The dealer service department may suffer some as result of less maintenance on BEVs, but there will be ICE vehicles for years to come that will continue to require maintenance.  In fact, many ICE owners may keep their vehicles longer.    

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On 12/10/2021 at 9:09 PM, akirby said:

I think Tesla will either merge or more likely just become a supplier to other mfrs and continue their other non automotive businesses.  

 

More likely the assets of a bankrupt legacy automaker may be acquired by Tesla, and for legacy automakers that survive, Tesla may be a contract manufacturer of complete vehicles in addition to a supplier of components to them.

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15 hours ago, silvrsvt said:

Yeah is slightly surprising that people are buying the product know more then the sales person does alot of the time. 

 

The problem has gotten a lot worse in the past 18 months because of staff shortages, new staff and the time it takes to learn the product knowledge. 

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On 12/11/2021 at 5:40 AM, kyle said:

 

Interesting optics and if it was as easy as filing a lawsuit not sure why this has not already occurred and proceeded to be such a slam dunk win. 

 

I've never thought of them being a supplier to other OEM's, and would think they would find an independent dealer network first (AutoNation, Sonic, etc.) first. Many of those are public traded companies and would obviously benefit tremendously. 

How might the legacy OEMs react to a  publicly held's engaging with Tesla? Might they not sees me "tweaks" to their allocation?

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16 hours ago, silvrsvt said:

 

Yeah is slightly surprising that people are buying the product know more then the sales person does alot of the time. 

In defense as a former new car salesman, consider the array of brands, models trim levels available at a typical store, especially at a multi brand point.

There must be hundreds, if not thousands of combinations possible. A career sales person should have firsthand knowledge of the brands and models carried, but more importantly how to use the resources available to get the customer's questions answered quickly. A new vehicle customer has access to not only detailed specs & invoice pricing of the vehicles they are interested in, but forums like this one where "behind the curtain" workings of the industry are readily available; stuff that was unavailable to the Tempo and Granada up's of my day.

 

Good relations with the Shop, Internet skills, working knowledge of competitive vehicles are as important as people skills. Career salespeople will learn to sort out the "Mr Know-it-alls" who are there to make themselves feel superior because they have spent hours researching one specific model from the ones who are truly undecided.

 

Broom 'em and go find a buyer.

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Related to product knowledge, with the number of vehicles, models, features and technology available... it can take a long time to acquire the product knowledge necessary. No one has all the answers but what's really important is knowing what resources are readily available to answer questions. 

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1 hour ago, ice-capades said:

 

The problem has gotten a lot worse in the past 18 months because of staff shortages, new staff and the time it takes to learn the product knowledge. 

 

Yep, lots of veteran Ford sales people either quit or retired as Covid hit hard. And anyway looks like over next 3-5 years Ford will be pushing Commercial EV primarily except for Mach E that is heavily allocated for the time being. Lincoln has no BEV on the horizon it seems. So it will be Lightning, Transit EV, Mach E, and various hybrids through 2025 or so. Plenty of time for Ford dealers to make decision of what investments they want to make to continue. I suspect 30% + will opt out and retire. 

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2 hours ago, rperez817 said:

 

More likely the assets of a bankrupt legacy automaker may be acquired by Tesla, and for legacy automakers that survive, Tesla may be a contract manufacturer of complete vehicles in addition to a supplier of components to them.


You’re assuming Musk wants to be a large scale automotive mfr.  I don’t think he does.  I think he used cars as a way to fund battery and motor and control systems development and to jumpstart the BEV industry.  There is far more profit available as an automotive supplier and non automotive battery applications without as many regulatory issues.

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15 minutes ago, akirby said:


You’re assuming Musk wants to be a large scale automotive mfr.  I don’t think he does.  I think he used cars as a way to fund battery and motor and control systems development and to jumpstart the BEV industry.  There is far more profit available as an automotive supplier and non automotive battery applications without as many regulatory issues.

 

I would think the big sweet spot for electrics will be big rig trucks and the most challenging and rewarding environmentally. If Musk can pull that off, HUGE. Roads are clogged with diesel, smelly semis. Surprised Ford is not working on this too. Anyone who lives close to a major highway would love for big rigs to be electric. Would be major reason for interstate charging stations. 

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2 hours ago, FordBuyer said:

 

I would think the big sweet spot for electrics will be big rig trucks and the most challenging and rewarding environmentally. If Musk can pull that off, HUGE. Roads are clogged with diesel, smelly semis. Surprised Ford is not working on this too. Anyone who lives close to a major highway would love for big rigs to be electric. Would be major reason for interstate charging stations. 


Big rigs need huge batteries - can they recharge enough in their down time to keep driving until their next rest stop?  Unnecessary down time is wasted money.

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1 hour ago, akirby said:


Big rigs need huge batteries - can they recharge enough in their down time to keep driving until their next rest stop?  Unnecessary down time is wasted money.

 

I imagine that is the most difficult challenge and why EV Semis are still vaporware. But the reward will be huge for the environment and pocketbook if pulled off. Someone will do it, but pulling those heavy loads will make range problematic without battery breakthrough. 

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2 hours ago, FordBuyer said:

 

I imagine that is the most difficult challenge and why EV Semis are still vaporware. But the reward will be huge for the environment and pocketbook if pulled off. Someone will do it, but pulling those heavy loads will make range problematic without battery breakthrough. 

 

The best solution for that is to ship as much freight as you can on the railroads. Leave trucks for regional and local loads.

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6 hours ago, AGR said:

 

The best solution for that is to ship as much freight as you can on the railroads. Leave trucks for regional and local loads.

 

Yeah, the locomotives are diesel/electric that helps, and some of the infrastructure money will go to freight railroad lines. But freeways are still clogged with trucks and many are not well maintained and spew lots of emissions. Too bad it will be many years before we see most big rigs being EV. 

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23 hours ago, Chrisgb said:

How might the legacy OEMs react to a  publicly held's engaging with Tesla? Might they not sees me "tweaks" to their allocation?

 

The legacy OEM's needs the big dealer groups as much as they need the OEM.

 

In years past, several OEM's did not want to have so many of their brands controlled by a handful of dealer groups, but that has declined, IMO, since many of these dealer groups do a great job of elevating the standards they set. Hendrick Automotive is a great example of this. 

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1 hour ago, kyle said:

 

The legacy OEM's needs the big dealer groups as much as they need the OEM.

 

In years past, several OEM's did not want to have so many of their brands controlled by a handful of dealer groups, but that has declined, IMO, since many of these dealer groups do a great job of elevating the standards they set. Hendrick Automotive is a great example of this. 

 

That seems to be the trend....big mega dealers that sell everything foreign and domestic as they buy up the family dealerships. Mostly mega dealerships around here. I bought my Ford from a small family owned Ford dealership specifically because I wanted to stay away from the impersonal mega dealers. I realize these small family dealerships are not long for this world. 

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On 12/12/2021 at 12:02 PM, FordBuyer said:

Roads are clogged with diesel, smelly semis. Surprised Ford is not working on this too. 

 

Ford is kind of working on it, but with FCEV rather than BEV and with Class 6 trucks rather than Class 8. 

 

The company received close to $25 million from the U.S. Department of Energy's Supertruck 3 program to "develop and demonstrate five hydrogen fuel cell electric Class-6 Super Duty trucks targeting cost, payload, towing, and refueling times that are equivalent to conventional gasoline or diesel trucks." DOE Announces Nearly $200 Million to Reduce Emissions From Cars and Trucks | Department of Energy

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Story out today that many Ford dealers are driving prospective Mach E customers away by jacking up the sticker price, even on customer orders. It's turning into big problem. One customer who complained to Ford management was reportedly told to buy a Tesla. Doesn't look to me like some Ford dealers want to sell and service Mach E's. 

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53 minutes ago, FordBuyer said:

Story out today that many Ford dealers are driving prospective Mach E customers away by jacking up the sticker price, even on customer orders. It's turning into big problem. One customer who complained to Ford management was reportedly told to buy a Tesla. Doesn't look to me like some Ford dealers want to sell and service Mach E's. 

 

Back in March, Ford got directly involved with a dealership in Illinois who added a $10k "adjustment" to a Mustang Mach-E, forcing the dealership to remove it.

 

While some Ford dealerships, including Autonation Ford Fort Worth where my wife and I took delivery of our Mustang Mach-E, are taking BEV seriously, there are way too many that aren't. ☹️

 

 

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Ford did not force them to remove the ADM.  They can’t.  They convinced the dealer to remove it.

 

This has nothing to do with BEVs.  The same thing is happening with Maverick and Bronco because they’re in high demand and short supply.

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