31 October 2011

With more and more ‘normal’ electric cars joining the market, following the launch of Nissan Leaf almost a year ago, the manufacturers are thinking more about how they market them. And one big part of the push is low running costs.

So, not only are manufacturers selling EVs on their low fuel costs, but also the low servicing costs. On the Kangoo and Fluence electric car launch recently Renault made a big thing about servicing costs for its electric vehicles being 20% lower.

Great (at least initially) for the driver but for you, as a retailer, that’s not just going to hit aftersales turnover, it’s going to hit profit and overhead absorption too. With the logical extreme of this being that dealership survival will put at risk, it does nothing to help the customers either. A neat circle.

Speaking to one retail group last week confirmed this line of thinking. They didn’t think there was any money in electric cars for about five years; their main point being the electric vehicle parc wasn’t large enough to support a profitable aftersales operation.

Dealerships will want to see what those manufacturers with electric vehicles will do to address this shortfall. Like the low-energy bulbs that are now compulsory, it could take a while for the electric car market to brighten up for the retail sector.

Tristan Young

Remember, if you’ve got a view on this, get in touch here.

Start your free 14 day trial

Get free access to our Bulletin, Agenda & Profit for 14 days.

After 14 days we will auto bill your credit or debit card unless the order is cancelled.

As an auto retail executive you need insightful and unique industry intelligence to boost your business potential. Here’s a taste of what Auto Retail Network has to offer:

  • Get informed and boost your business potential
  • More than 1,200 fellow executives have joined us
    since launch
  • Independent, carefully crafted, unique content relevant to you and your business
  • Develop a greater awareness of market trends and opportunities
  • Access to a wide range of materials whenever, wherever and however you want it
  • Significant discounts on ARN events, reports and
    other publications