2 Min ReadMay 13, 2024

Dealers Aren't Confident in OEM EV Strategies

Dealers Not Confident in O E M E CDK recently released the Dealers Face the EV Transition white paper, which details the pessimism many dealers feel about the electric future. A clear majority (65%) indeed admit to being pessimistic about EVs, and the paper delves into many of the reasons behind that number including the impact to the dealership’s revenue, consumer interest and more.   We also asked dealers about their confidence level in the EV strategy of their respective OEMs. Whether they hV Strategies.

CDK recently released the Dealers Face the EV Transition white paper, which details the pessimism many dealers feel about the electric future. A clear majority (65%) indeed admit to being pessimistic about EVs, and the paper delves into many of the reasons behind that number including the impact to the dealership’s revenue, consumer interest and more.

We also asked dealers about their confidence level in the EV strategy of their respective OEMs. Whether they had a single OEM or multiple, a staggering 41% said they aren’t at all confident in their OEM’s strategy. Only 5% said they were extremely confident with another 8% saying they were very confident.

How confident are dealers with their O E M E V strategy.

These numbers should be alarming to automakers as they continue to tweak their rollout of more EVs. But it’s also an understandable point of view considering how many changes OEMs have made to their EV plans over the past six months. One dealer put it quite bluntly, “the OEMs really have not thought this out at all.”

CDK also asked what the most difficult challenge was in transitioning to EVs, which could be upgrading facilities, lack of customer interest, anything. That’s why it was somewhat surprising to hear a respondent say their most difficult challenge was “trusting the manufacturer to innovate on price and range with any urgency.” A number of others answering this same question said the shine toward their OEM faded due to directions provided around facility upgrades that weren’t successful or seen as too costly.

Recent talk of refocusing on plug-in hybrids to fill a gap as EV interest wanes seems to be a positive for dealers but not if their OEM isn’t on board. “I’m afraid my OEM friends are behind the power curve when it comes to alternatives to EVs,” explained one dealer. “The market seems to be shifting sharply away from pure electric to plug-in hybrid.”

Our study also focused on different regions and how positive or negative outlooks varied by simple geography. Far more dealers in the Pacific (78%), for example, said they were already fully on board with selling and servicing EVs compared to 37% in the neighboring Mountain states. A dealer in California was quite pleased with their OEM, which is “quickly on the move transitioning to EVs.”

And one dealer gave a clear warning about potential competition to OEM EV efforts during this pivotal time. “Some customers know the Chinese are making very inexpensive EVs and think that’s the best idea. They think the Chinese will actually take over the market due to better planning.”

Download the Dealers Face the EV Transition white paper

Read More EV Research

EV Confusion Carries On

EV Service: Today and Tomorrow

The EV Ownership Lifestyle

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David Thomas
By David Thomas
Director, Content

David Thomas is director of content marketing and automotive industry analyst at CDK Global. He champions thought leadership across all platforms, connecting CDK’s vast expertise to the broader market and trends driving our industry forward. David has spent nearly 20 years in the automotive world as a product evaluator, journalist and marketer for brands like Autoblog, Cars.com, Nissan and Harley-Davidson.

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