The original batch sold out in just ten minutes.
As the auto industry continues its shift towards battery electrics, some automakers have the immense challenge of convincing dealerships their future product plans will appeal to longtime customers. Cadillac is the perfect example. Out of 880 US dealers, around 150 chose to take General Motor's buyout offer rather than investing over $200,000 in infrastructure upgrades to accommodate EVs, the 2022 Cadillac Lyriq being the first of many. GMC dealers, however, are not being offered a similar buyout plan. Roughly half of America's 1,900 GMC stores have reportedly agreed to invest around $140,000 each in order to sell the 2022 Hummer EV, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Another reason why it's in their interest to do so is that there are already 10,000 preorders for the Hummer Edition 1. Refusing to sell EVs, in general, means these dealers would not be able to sell what's already proving to be a popular and expensive vehicle.
Last week, GMC officials met with dealer representatives in a virtual meeting where it was confirmed the Hummer EV SUV will debut this February. It's also a possibility additional Hummer EV Edition 1 trucks will be offered after the initial batch sold out in just ten minutes. "They are evaluating if they can build more," said a dealer who was present at the meeting. GMC President Duncan Aldred further disclosed several new EVs other than the Hummer truck and SUV are on their way, including an all-electric Sierra and several Buicks. However, company officials reiterated their commitment to non-EVs buyers.
"Duncan said we're certainly not going to abandon our internal combustion engine vehicles because that's our core business and that was good to hear," said the individual who revealed the expanded Edition 1 possibility. "It's to let people know they're not going down the same road as Cadillac."
However, the upgrades dealers must make for these new EVs are extensive. For example, dealers must have two 12,000-pound lifts in their service bays, a 14-by-24-foot stall for storage, and an 8,000-pound capacity forklift. "A lot of the cost in there is the electric infrastructure and their charging ability," a GMC spokesperson said. "If they have a modern electrical system, their cost will be less. If they need to update that for the charging station, that's where the $140,000 comes in."
GMC dealers have a choice to make and the automaker is making it a voluntary one.