JoeS
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Posts: 3301
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Future of the Dealership EV Model

Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:20 pm

RobbW just had his battery replaced. In a different thread he wrote -
RobbW wrote:The only thing I can guess at is that dealerships aren't so keen on iMiEV owners because they make absolutely no revenue off them after the initial sale of the vehicle. Our service and regular maintenance needs are next to zero. So, the only time they ever see us is when there is a recall or something is seriously wrong with the vehicle and is likely a warranty issue.
For at least these first six years, with our very-well-designed and executed i-MiEV, judging by this forum, there has been a minimal number of significant repairs required to the car. By far the highest-cost item has been the heretofore-rare battery replacement, with Mitsubishi shouldering the significant expense of not just the battery pack itself but also the logistics of moving the battery handling equipment all around the country and, of course, paying for the labor.

I think the dealership model is in trouble, since the manufacturer (and not the customer) is paying the dealerships for much of the work they perform on EVs.

As our cars wear out, anyone can replace suspension parts (brakes should be ok) and windshields and body stuff - no need to go to the (expensive) dealer. If we get more failures of expensive items (such as a/c compressors or serious electronics) which approach or exceed the value of our cars, the cars will end up being scrapped prematurely and, again, the dealer is unnecessary. I'll note that the dealerships enjoy a nice little supplemental income by resetting the car's electronics when, for example, a body shop removes a car seat and trips the airbag sensor.

Inasmuch as I understand that dealerships make their profit primarily from their service departments, I have to wonder if they will be viable looking forward.

I talked about this with the local Mitsu service manager a few years ago, and his response was that he would eventually see me... :evil:

Tesla has said that their service departments would not be profit centers, but, like conventional dealerships, their non-warranty costs are significant (but I did appreciate paying IIRC $8 for a replacement cabin filter).

Anyone have any thoughts on where this is going?
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

NeilBlanchard
Posts: 347
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:26 am
Location: Maynard, MA Eaarth
Contact: Website

Re: Future of the Dealership EV Model

Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:00 pm

Something needs to change, that is for sure.

How many people buy a car (ICE or otherwise) and then have it serviced at a local shop? Dealers are so often, not as good and/or much more expensive for regular maintenance, anyway. They very often try to up sell you, and sell you new brakes, when you barely need pads; or a whole exhaust system if you have a minor exhaust leak.

I think Tesla is challenging the industry in many ways; not just building EV's. No advertising, no dealers, incremental improvements, and the build year is the model year - which takes away the push to planned obsolescence.
Sincerely, Neil

http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/

Don
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Posts: 2535
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Future of the Dealership EV Model

Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:30 pm

NeilBlanchard wrote:Something needs to change, that is for sure.

How many people buy a car (ICE or otherwise) and then have it serviced at a local shop? Dealers are so often, not as good and/or much more expensive for regular maintenance, anyway.
They are doing everything they can to make it where the ONLY place that can service your car is the dealer . . . . with his proprietary computer linked to the CanBus in your newer car

They do other things as well - Ford has their own batteries now, sized differently from the standard off the shelf units available at most auto parts stores. The auto trans in our Ford van doesn't even have a dipstick - To check the level you just about have to use a lift to get under the car while it's perfectly level

Most everything is run by the CanBus and unless your local guy has a dozen different computers to ensure that one of them will fit your particular brand of car, there's not too much he can do . . . . except rotate your tires and even then, on some models, you must reprogram the TPMS system to tell it which tire is now where

Sad to say, I strongly suspect MORE people are using the dealers for fairly routine things than ever before

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1994 Miata 60K miles - Soon to be sold
1979 Honda CBX six into six

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