The automotive industry is undergoing a revolutionary shift as the world embraces electric vehicles (EVs) for their environmental and economic benefits. As combustion vehicles give way to cleaner and more sustainable alternatives, automobile dealers must adapt their business strategies to remain competitive and profitable.
The need for auto dealers to embrace the new dynamics of the EV industry is a critical one as the EV market accelerates its growth. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global EV sales reached a record-breaking 3.24 million units in 2020, representing a 41% increase compared to the previous year. Furthermore, BloombergNEF projects that EV sales will comprise 58% of global passenger vehicle sales by 2040.
For the auto dealer to thrive in this new EV era, here are key steps they can take to successfully transition from combustion vehicles to electric vehicles while ensuring financial success.
Educate Staff and Customers
One of the crucial steps automobile dealers must take is to educate their staff and customers about electric vehicles. Sales teams should be well-versed in the benefits of EVs, such as lower operating costs, reduced environmental impact, and government incentives. Providing comprehensive training on EV technology, charging infrastructure, and the differences between various EV models will empower sales staff to effectively communicate with potential buyers.
Educating customers is equally important. Organize workshops and test-drive events specifically focused on electric vehicles to help potential buyers understand the technology and dispel common misconceptions about range anxiety and charging infrastructure limitations. By fostering an informed customer base, dealerships can drive greater interest and demand for electric vehicles.
Offer Charging Options for Use at Home and On-the-Go
A robust charging infrastructure is vital for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. Automobile dealers can attract EV customers by investing in charging stations on their premises while also enabling portable charging options. Providing convenient and accessible charging options will instill confidence in customers and alleviate any concerns they may have about running out of power during longer journeys. Offering solutions that enable charging as easily on the road as at home is an important start. Two-in-one portable charging stations, that support both charging at home as well as on the go, can provide great consumer peace of mind.
Create an Enhanced Customer Experience
To remain competitive in the evolving automotive landscape, dealerships must focus on providing an exceptional customer experience. This can be achieved by implementing several key strategies. Firstly, train sales personnel to offer personalized assistance, addressing customer concerns and guiding them through the EV purchasing process. Secondly, streamline the paperwork and financing procedures to expedite the sale and delivery of electric vehicles. Lastly, offer aftersales services such as maintenance, repairs, and battery replacements, ensuring customers feel supported throughout their ownership journey.
Diversify Revenue Streams
While combustion vehicles have traditionally been a significant source of revenue for automobile dealers, embracing electric vehicles requires diversifying revenue streams. This can involve expanding service departments to cater to EV-specific maintenance and services. Additionally, dealerships can offer value-added services like offering portable charging stations, battery upgrades, and software updates to generate additional income. Exploring partnerships with local businesses, such as solar panel installers or energy providers, can open new revenue opportunities as well.
Leverage Government Incentives and Partnerships
Government incentives and partnerships can play a pivotal role in facilitating the transition to electric vehicles. Stay informed about federal, state, and local EV incentives and tax credits that can lower the cost of ownership for customers. Establish collaborations with automakers, utility companies, or environmental organizations to access exclusive programs or funding that can support dealership operations and infrastructure development.
Position for Success
The shift from combustion vehicles to electric vehicles presents both challenges and opportunities for automobile dealers. By focusing on education, investing in portable and fixed charging infrastructure, providing an enhanced customer experience, diversifying revenue streams, and leveraging government incentives and partnerships, dealerships can position themselves for success in the era of electric vehicles. Embracing this transformation is not only crucial for the environment but also a smart business move that will ensure long-term profitability and sustainability in the automotive industry.