GM considering regional Bolt EV stock, taking inspiration from e-commerce

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If GM has its way, buying a Bolt could be a lot quicker and easier, even outside of big EV markets.

Chevrolet

One of the hurdles on the way to widespread EV adoption that we don’t seem to talk about as often is the push to get franchised dealers to stock EVs. Now, on the surface, that seems like a simple thing of requiring them to set aside floor space, but manufacturers don’t always make it that easy. 

A good example of this is Cadillac and its recent decision to either force dealers to upgrade their facilities to carry the Lyriq or give up their Cadillac franchise entirely — something that saw many dealers going the latter route. GM is trying something a bit different with its Bolt dealers, and it’s taken inspiration from the world of e-commerce, according to a report published Monday by Automotive News.

This new plan would have GM setting up regional facilities to store Bolts that are ready for purchase. This means that dealers wouldn’t be stuck with the two classic options of either carrying a bunch of stock or forcing customers to order a car and wait weeks. These facilities could cut customer wait times and dealer costs significantly.

The program would work much like Amazon’s regional fulfillment centers, where commonly ordered specifications would be on hand and could be delivered to dealers within a day or two. It’s also a way to push EV sales in areas that might not be huge markets yet, with less risk for dealers. This would mean the dealer doesn’t have to sit on inventory if it doesn’t sell, which is always a concern.

According to Automotive News, GM first broached the idea at a dealer meeting in February. We reached out to GM reps for comment but didn’t hear back in time for publication.

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