A sign is unveiled at General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly on Oct. 16, 2020, introducing the facility’s new name: Factory Zero, Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center.
After years of come-and-gone predictions that battery-powered sedans, pickups and SUVs would replace gas-guzzling, emissions-spewing models, the shift to electric vehicles is revving up. Beyond EV pioneer and market leader Tesla, virtually every major auto manufacturer is lining up to flip the e-switch and it is not just a big deal for consumers, but the thousands of auto dealerships across the country that will need to embrace the electric future.
General Motors has said it’s aiming to produce only EVs by 2035, with 30 new plug-in models arriving by 2025, marking a $27-billion investment. Ford, which previously committed $22 billion to EV development, just announced that 40% of its vehicles will be electrified by 2030. Toyota, Volkswagen, Daimler, Hyundai, Fiat Chrysler, Honda and other automakers are making similar pledges.
In preparation for this onslaught of new models, franchise car dealers in the U.S. — many of them longtime small businesses located in suburban and rural communities — are gearing up. Salespeople are getting ready to put you in an EV today. And because EVs have fewer moving parts, service technicians are being trained to maintain them.
“EVs are the big issue right now,” said Mark Paladino, general manager of Colonial Ford in Danbury, Connecticut, and a 40-year…