Infrastructure and tooling will be too expensive for low-volume dealers.
Speaking to Cadillac Global Marketing Director Jim Vurpillat at the Chicago Auto Show, Edmunds was told that nearly half of Cadillac’s 940 dealerships will opt out of the 2014 ELR. The EV’s extensive requirements for dealers, including service charging stations, special training, customized tools and a separate sales area, would prove too costly for dealers selling just a few units per year.
Even with the car’s $75,995 sticker price (including shipping), only about 530 dealerships will display the ELR on their floors. The 410 dealers choosing to stay away from the Chevy Volt’s expensive twin are mostly in outlying areas with already-low sales, or in parts of the country less likely to see demand for a plug-in hybrid. The cost for dealers’ training and tooling is estimated to be as high as $15,000. Vurpillat predicted most sales would stem from areas like California, Dallas, Miami and New York. "They are not selling a lot of electric vehicles in Iowa," he said.