All across the auto industry, dealerships are having to invest in new training, tools, and equipment to support electric vehicles, and that all requires a significant amount of money.
Buick spokesman Sean Poppitt in a statement to Automotive News (subscription required) published on Tuesday said the investment required to upgrade a Buick dealership for EVs is between $300,000 and $400,000 on average.
However, this investment won't affect many Buick dealerships. According to Automotive News' Dealer Census, only 13 of Buick's 1,963 dealers are standalone stores, and most of the others have dual showrooms with GMC. GMC dealers have already had to invest in the infrastructure to handle the electric GMC Hummer EV. That leaves as few as 13 Buick dealers that will have to decide if they want to invest to upgrade to handle EVs.
For those stores unwilling to make the investment, General Motors has provided them with a buyout offer.
Poppitt confirmed the buyout plan but didn't say how many dealerships had accepted the offer, if any. It's possible that a store could accept the offer and stay in business selling other brands.
Buick doesn't sell any EVs, at least in the U.S. That situation will change soon as Buick has confirmed two EVs for its U.S. lineup by the end of 2023. One will have conventional proportions, while the other will sport a more coupe-like profile. The U.S. EVs, which may be called Electra and Electra GS, respectively, are expected to feature styling previewed by Buick's Wildcat EV concept unveiled in June. Buick will also cease launching gas-powered vehicles in the U.S. as soon as 2024. Its lineup is expected to consist solely of EVs by 2030.