This is the amount needed for the necessary EV training and equipment.
Buick is the latest automotive brand whose dealerships must invest a minimum amount to sell upcoming all-electric vehicles. Automotive News has confirmed that America's Buick dealers are required to invest at least $300,000 to $400,000, on average, for the necessary tooling, equipment, and personnel training to prepare for the significant transition.
Buick remains on track to be an EV-only brand by 2030. No new ICE-powered vehicles will be launched after 2024. Buick has already offered to buy out any of its US dealers who are not interested in making the necessary EV-related investments.
Cadillac had precisely the same approach regarding its dealers. Roughly a third of America's 900 Cadillac dealers opted for the buyout option. Many of these stores were located in more rural parts of the country, where customers are typically older and far less inclined to purchase EVs, like the Lyriq.
Buick has yet to provide an exact number of dealers who went for the buyout option. At the beginning of 2022, there was a total of 1,963 Buick dealers in the US.
"We see Buick's dealer network as a business advantage, and they will remain a critical part of the retail and relationship chain with customers," said a Buick spokesperson. "However, Buick - with the support of its National Dealer Council - will allow those dealers who do not share Buick's all-electric vision to exit now on an elective basis before investment in essential training, tools, and special equipment is required."
The minimum investment to become an EV-ready Buick dealer will vary by dealer but is estimated to be $300-400K, on average.
Accepting an offer is voluntary, but all Buick dealers who remain must be adequately prepared to sell and service Buick EVs. Buick has not provided a dollar amount for how much dealers will be compensated to shut down, but Cadillac dealers received $300,000 to $500,000.
Interestingly, Buick dealers are being asked to invest more, on average, for that EV future than Cadillac dealers. The latter had to invest an average of $200,000, at least $100,000 more than their Buick counterparts.
Last month, Buick teased its first Ultium platform-based SUV, originally supposed to be sold in China only. It has since emerged that the Equinox-based Electra will be coming to the USA in 2024. That might be the main reason behind the sudden push, as Buick will need at least a year to get its dealers ready to handle EV sales and servicing.