Buick dealers face a hefty bill to sell electric vehicles

Across the industry, dealers need to invest in new training, tools and equipment to support EVs, and the amounts involved are significant.

Buick spokesman Sean Poppitt said in a statement to Automotive News (subscription required) released Tuesday that the investment required to upgrade a Buick EV dealership averages between $300,000 and $400,000 .

There are currently around 2,000 Buick dealerships in the United States. For those businesses unwilling to make the investment, General Motors has made them a takeover bid.

Poppitt confirmed the buyout plan but didn’t say how many retailers accepted the offer, if any. In most cases, dealerships that sell Buicks also sell vehicles from at least one other make, so a store could accept the offer and stay in business selling other brands.

In a similar offer to Cadillac dealers, about two-thirds rejected the offer in favor of the EV future. Around two-thirds of Ford dealerships also plan to invest in electric vehicle upgrades.

Buick doesn’t sell electric vehicles, at least in the US. That situation will soon change as Buick has confirmed two electric vehicles for its US lineup by the end of 2023. One will have conventional proportions, while the other will have a more coupe-like profile. The US electric vehicles, which may be called the Electra and Electra GS respectively, are expected to feature styling previewed from Buick’s Wildcat EV concept unveiled in June. Buick will also stop introducing gas-powered vehicles in the US as early as 2024. By 2030, the range should consist exclusively of electric vehicles.