Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - romford4

A year or two ago I had a conversation with a senior director within the UK motor industry and a highly qualified senior electrical engineer. We were chatting about the effect that electric vehicles will have on traditional new car dealerships/groups. Was chatting to one of them last night and he's convinced that it's going down this route.......

Both were of the firm belief that EVs would revolutionise new car sales and that we could see the demise of new car dealers as we know it within 10-20 years. The thinking was two-fold.... firstly that the younger generation don't like visiting car dealers and would rather buy/lease online, have fixed monthly payments and no contact with sales-staff. Vehicles could be viewed and test-drives taken at regional centres - kind of like how Daewoo did it back in the 90s. The Daewoo model wasn't too popular then, but they felt that buyers in 2021> would rather this model. Site staff would be there to demonstrate features and facilitate test-drives, but sales would primarily be online. The second factor was that EVs can be manufactured to be very simple and very reliable for the mainstream public, thus negating the need for 'technicians' and dealer servicing. The motor is extremely simple and reliable; regen braking means much extended service intervals on pads/discs; many electrical components can be plug-n-play modules, and components like tyres and shocks could be dealt with by Kwik-Fit or mobile operators. Most maintenance could be done quickly and simply via a mobile door-to-door operator and any more major work required could be performed at a regional centre... but the engineering of the vehicle could be such that any required 'major' maintenance is almost negligible.

Much like the mobile phone industry, manufacturers would bring everything in-house, under their control, and cut ties with re-sellers like Arno1d C1ark. A single uniform means of selling and maintaining. Hourly waged 'Product Advisors' (almost like shop assistants) instead of commissioned sales-staff. Workshop staff who are trained in lower-level maintenance (like Kwik-Fit staff) instead of more qualified mechanics/technicians. Maintenance can be simplified to plug & play components in many instances.

Interested to know what others think? Personally I reckon the traditional new-car motor trade has had its day and change is long overdue. Of course buyers spending more money on a 'premium' or 'enthusiast' purchase is a different ball game, but for mass-market A to B fodder, I think this is the future.

Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - pd

I agree a big chunk will move online in this way and already has.

I don't think it has anything directly to do with EVs.

That said there will always be some who like to experience before spending/committing a large amount of money. There is a reason things like Apple Shops still exist.

Truth is a lot of new cars are quite hateful and average in many respects. Being stuck with something horrible for 3 years because you didn't try it first wouldn't be for me but a lot of people don't care these days as long as it has a big screen and Google.

Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - Andrew-T

... a lot of people don't care these days as long as it has a big screen and Google.

... and ferries them wherever they want to be, every time, preferably without any attention, maintenance or needing to even visit a filling station ?

Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - nellyjak

... a lot of people don't care these days as long as it has a big screen and Google.

... and ferries them wherever they want to be, every time, preferably without any attention, maintenance or needing to even visit a filling station ?

Ain't that the truth..they want to know absolutely nowt about them (ie how they work)..how things have changed in my 50+ years of motoring.

The demise of the enthusiast is sad...I think they call it progress.

Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - chris87
The quicker we get rid of dealerships, the better. There’s little need for a middleman...
Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - focussed
The quicker we get rid of dealerships, the better. There’s little need for a middleman...

You are forgetting that manufacturers will always want to have a legal entity between them and the customer that takes any serious liability to protect the manufacturer if need be, whether it be a franchised dealer or one of their own companies.

Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - mcb100
I suspect the past 12 months have accelerated a process that was already underway.
We already have two distinct cohorts of customers, the existing one that will only deal with a person, have to prod and poke a car, slam the doors to hear what it sounds like, test drive it and drink dealership coffee.
The newer band accept that there’s no such thing as a bad car, will happily configure it online, order it and await delivery.
This is coincidentally happening with the rise of the EV, and not because of it.
The industry will need fewer technicians as cars become lower maintenance, with attendant loss of service advisors and parts people.
The ‘Swiss Toni’s are already a dying breed within the industry, as sales processes have evolved to better deal with contemporary customers.
Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - veloceman
I think dealerships will be around for a few years as there will be a massive sales drive. They probably won’t cope and more will buy from the internet.
Personally I’m a poker and prodder. Like to see the spec, trim and colours in real time.
There are currently nearly 32 million cars on the UK roads - mostly std petrol or diesel.
Will take min of 15 years at current sales levels to convert all to Electric.
Manufacturers won’t have the capacity to build for at least 5 years.
I don’t think there will be enough electric cars to go round past 2030.

Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - movilogo

I shall answer this in 2 parts - one about buying experience in dealership, another about EV in general.

I won't buy without test driving a car. I buy plenty on internet but for a car I want to test drive it first.

I don't like EV. Hybrid is OK but charging something is a big turn off + range anxiety and I like a gearbox.

I am not keen on talking with a person while buying. Car salesmen rarely have any technical knowledge of cars. So I won't miss not having to talk with anyone, other than minimum required for test drive.

Next generation buyers will be different. For them buying car is same as buying iPad or washing machine. When last you saw younger guys poking under bonnet?

Enjoy ICE cars as much you want in next 10 years max. Future cars will be different and I am not looking forward to it.

Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - Heidfirst

Much like the mobile phone industry, manufacturers would bring everything in-house, under their control, and cut ties with re-sellers like Arno1d C1ark. A single uniform means of selling and maintaining. Hourly waged 'Product Advisors' (almost like shop assistants) instead of commissioned sales-staff. Workshop staff who are trained in lower-level maintenance (like Kwik-Fit staff) instead of more qualified mechanics/technicians. Maintenance can be simplified to plug & play components in many instances.

Quite possibly but there is also the possibility of the market going down the different road (especially if autonomous/self-driving vehicles come to pass) where most people don't own cars but only hire them for as long as they need them whether that be a trip to the shops, a day in the country or a fortnight's holiday. That would also obviate the need for an EV charging point for every house & reduce the amount of parked cars on streets (apparently cars are only actually being driven for 4% of time).

Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - veloceman
Depreciation is also a major concern for EV buyers.
Even manufacturers are only guaranteeing 70% battery life over a period of time.
Also development is moving as such a pace that you could be driving a white elephant in less than a year.
Like it or not hiring/short term rental or even Boris Bike type set up could be the future.
Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - Andrew-T

<< most people don't own cars but only hire them for as long as they need them whether that be a trip to the shops, a day in the country or a fortnight's holiday. >>

If regular car-use switches to hiring, the hirers will hope for steady usage. That may be tricky with EVs, which need more off-time for recharging than a normal-fuel vehicle. Unless there are heavy-duty fast charging points of course.

Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - pd

I disagree there is no such thing as a bad car. It may well be subjective but I drive loads of cars and a majority I do not like.

It isn't for the same reasons as 20 years ago but goodness there is some miserable stuff out there,

Personally I still enjoy driving and I like to drive a car which has some sense the designers also enjoyed driving. It does not need to be fast or expensive to impart that.

I also have a number of pet hates - rubbish stereos being one of them.

There is some really average, middle of the road, cynically designed stuff out there. Do not buy it.

Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - Andrew-T

I disagree there is no such thing as a bad car. It may well be subjective but I drive loads of cars and a majority I do not like.

'a bad car' is a very loose phrase, but I tend to agree that there are very few 'bad' cars. PD, you are only telling us there are plenty with features you don't like. That doesn't make them bad, as we all know that tastes in cars vary widely. There are plenty of recent cars that I don't like either, but some of them may be very reliable, for example.

Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - Senexdriver

A previous poster has already said that buying EVs will be much like buying washing machines. There won’t be a great deal to distinguish one engine from another - other than power output - which is much the same as washing machines. Did you buy your current washing machine on the basis of its motor?

If the mechanicals are very straightforward and nothing to get excited about, then buying choices will come down to comfort, colour, features, image and other sensory aspects. I agree that the need to poke and prod the car will be less, although there will always be those that prefer this approach, but the sales process will be less pressured as the good cars will sell themselves. If you want to buy an iPad, you’ve probably read how good they are and don’t need to test one out, but if you do, there’s the apple shop where you can do that to your heart’s content.

What will be interesting is how the drift to EV develops over the next 10-15 years. I’m waiting to see how batteries improve (as they surely will) and how the infrastructure grows. I’m no longer driving, but if I were I wouldn’t even be thinking about an EV yet. But long after I have left the scene people will look back and smile at the early attempts at electric vehicles, just as we do now with mobile phones.

Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - Andrew-T

But long after I have left the scene people will look back and smile at the early attempts at electric vehicles, just as we do now with mobile phones.

.... or early cars ....

Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - Sofa Spud

But long after I have left the scene people will look back and smile at the early attempts at electric vehicles, just as we do now with mobile phones.

.... or early cars ....

Isn't that already the case? The original Nissan Leaf of about 10 years ago had a battery range of 70 miles, so it would be difficult to avoid range anxiety on anything other than local trips. The current Leaf is available with a range of over 220 miles. Other types of electric cars provide even greater range.

Edited by Sofa Spud on 20/02/2021 at 17:53

Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - mcb100
I’ll stand by the line - there are no Chrysler Voyagers getting one star on an NCAP test, there are no Lancias audibly oxidising, there are no Yugos utilising 1960’s FIAT technology.
I’m also fortunate to drive lots of cars, and there are lots I wouldn’t buy, but if your interested in cars is the same as mine in, say, washing machines, there are no bad cars.
Of all the cars I’ve been involved with over the years, two favourites have been the Škoda Yeti and the Suzuki Swift Sport - neither will tear up trees with any great redeeming qualities, but they just felt ‘right’. It’s a purely subjective choice.
Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - madf

My wife refuses to buy washing machines (and other white goods) sight unseen.

So to expect her to buy a car sight usneen is ?

Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - romford4

Interesting to read everyone's views. Personally I'm looking forward to big changes in car buying. Cars for me these days are a tool... something that gets me from A-to-B. I've no interest in taking time out of my day to visit a dealership, and even less inclination to want to waste time dealing with some suited & booted spiv who knows nothing about the product he's selling. I've driven/ridden everything from a Pug 107 to an Beemer M5 and a PCX125 to a ZX-10R, and I've had more enjoyment from driving/riding and spannering the cheapies than I have the 'desirable' stuff.

In future I want to browse online, choose something that meets my budget and that I like the look of, and have it delivered to my door. No middle-man dealer, no haggling, no paint protection, upholstery protection, extended warranty, tyre insurance & so on. For servicing and repairs I want a mobile tech to come to my house and sort it on my driveway. You can keep your Teslas etc. I'm happy with the Nokia 3310 of EVs... basic, does a job, goes on forever.

Electric Vehicles, EVs - EVs and effects of dealershhips - pd

In future I want to browse online, choose something that meets my budget and that I like the look of, and have it delivered to my door. No middle-man dealer, no haggling, no paint protection, upholstery protection, extended warranty, tyre insurance & so on. For servicing and repairs I want a mobile tech to come to my house and sort it on my driveway. You can keep your Teslas etc. I'm happy with the Nokia 3310 of EVs... basic, does a job, goes on forever.

I take your point and agree I have far more fun with cheap cars but it is surprising how many cars have some annoying design aspect you might regret getting stuck with.

Even on a lease I never fancy getting stuck with a car with a rubbish ride (or one too soft), seats I do not fit in or one which turns out to be less practical than the dimensions imply. Yes, you can read reviews but it is still a commitment (and, yes, I know under distance selling you can send it back in theory). Still hassle though.

 

Value my car