sevengroove

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So when I go to a Ford or VW dealership with a large lot packed with rows of new cars, all those cars were ordered for specific customers, as dealers are not allowed to order for stock?

Our largest local Ford dealer is currently showing 374 vehicles in stock for immediate delivery. That's a whole lot of customers ordering Fords but then refusing to take delivery.
I think he was talking about the new 'hot' vehicles. Those are usually customer orders until the hotness dies down. :)
In addition to hot sellers, this also applies generally to any custom-ordered car. A dealer might have a hundred BMW 3 Series (a very popular, not hot car for example) on their lot but if none of them come in the exact configuration/color you want, you can always custom order it through the dealer. It's reserved for you once it arrives on the lot but you are under no obligation to buy. I bought my Mini Cooper this way and it took 5 months to show up. A lot can happen in that time to change your mind, and I imagine the same applied to those customers who ordered Mach-Es.





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Hmp10

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More than a few are not finalizing their orders after seeing/driving the car.
This does not augur well for these manufacturers.

Perhaps my years of experience with car dealerships leaves me with too jaded an eye to give them a fair shake.

I just got off the phone with my friend who is EV shopping this morning. The VW dealership has tapped an EV-only salesman who is very well informed about the ID.4 and even offered to bring one to his house to examine and drive there. He got this call as he was driving off from the Chevrolet dealer where he went to check out a Bolt. He found the salesman there so ignorant about the basics of the car and so obviously unenthusiastic about trying to demonstrate one that my friend left the dealership without even going out onto the lot to look at their Bolt inventory. (This was the same Chevrolet dealership that another friend visited a year ago to test drive a Bolt and found the car on the lot wasn't even being kept charged and could not be driven.)

Tom Moloughney of "InsideEVs" has a business consulting with traditional dealerships to prepare them to sell EVs. A few dealers have solicited his help, more have accepted his help when he approaches them, but most have declined his help, openly displaying little interest in educating sales staff on the fundamentals of EVs.
 

Pherdnut

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One question I have is if the dealers are able to get a restraining order, will Rivian be able to find a workaround so we can still get our preorders? Like how were they getting Teslas in Michigan?
 

DucRider

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Tom Moloughney of "InsideEVs" has a business consulting with traditional dealerships to prepare them to sell EVs. A few dealers have solicited his help, more have accepted his help when he approaches them, but most have declined his help, openly displaying little interest in educating sales staff on the fundamentals of EVs.
Plug in America has Plug Star as well.
There are dealerships that embrace EVs, promote them and actively sell them. there are those that do not. The same is true of trucks in many markets. Or Corvettes.

The Tesla salesperson we spoke with was not familiar with state and local incentives for the Model Y and charging equipment. These kinds of issues are not tied directly to whether a manufacturer, local businessman, or nationwide company owns and operates the dealership.
 

CommodoreAmiga

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One question I have is if the dealers are able to get a restraining order, will Rivian be able to find a workaround so we can still get our preorders? Like how were they getting Teslas in Michigan?
Probably can do what Rivian already plans to do in states that don't allow direct sales -- "deliver" in another state.
 

Hmp10

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This is indeed one of the advantages of the franchised dealer model for consumers - local inventory available immediately.
The manufacturer direct-sale model doesn't preclude this. Our local Tesla showroom has cars available for immediate delivery or, just as traditional dealers do, can have one brought from another showroom in a couple of days. I found this out last year when I test drove a Model X. I was offered the one I test drove or another one on the lot and told if I didn't like the colors they could have another brought over from Miami in two days. The same thing happened when I took my Model S over to Dania Beach for service a few months ago. A Model Y Performance had just come in that morning. I was given a test drive and offered the car on the spot if I wanted to buy it.

Also, I was able to test drive a Model S at a Tesla showroom before I ordered mine in 2015. Lucid Motors is going to have drivable demo cars at their Design Studio. I suspect Lucid will also reach the point of having cars on site for immediate sale once they move into the lower price tiers of the market in a couple of years.

Up until the Model 3 overwhelmed Tesla's service infrastructure, getting my Tesla serviced with their mobile service fleet was the most convenient service experience I had ever had with a car. Honestly, I can't divine any real inherent advantage to the consumer from a dealer franchise sales model over a manufacturer-direct sales model, especially as the latter matures.

With EV's, other than colors and battery pack size, most options are a function of software. An EV can be customized to a much wider array of customers with considerably fewer cars in inventory than with a traditional ICE.
 

Hmp10

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The Tesla salesperson we spoke with was not familiar with state and local incentives for the Model Y and charging equipment. These kinds of issues are not tied directly to whether a manufacturer, local businessman, or nationwide company owns and operates the dealership.
Very true, and the point I just made in the post before this one. From the consumer's perspective, a franchise model or a manufacturer-direct model can be as good or as bad as the operator makes it. There is no inherent advantage of one over the other.
 

electruck

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This is indeed one of the advantages of the franchised dealer model for consumers - local inventory available immediately.
Yes, an advantage for many. That's never really worked to my advantage though. I want the color and options that I want which are generally the higher end packages and combinations which are seemingly never available when I am looking. With one exception, my vehicles have always been special orders or dealer transfers. That one exception is my current vehicle which I bought used from dealer inventory because I needed to quickly replace a vehicle that had been totaled due to extensive hail damage. I was able to get a replacement vehicle quickly but it wasn't equipped exactly as I wanted which still frustrates me 2 years later (although not enough to buy another vehicle while I await my new R1S).
 

DuckTruck

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When discussing organizational decay, a wise friend once said "a fish rots from the head". I know of at least four Ford, and four Chevy dealerships in my area. Some seem to pour their resources and energy into the service experience and others bankroll an amazing advertising campaign. Some seem driven to sell the most cars while others seem focused on cultivating long-term, recurring-sale relationships. As always, the ethos of any organization starts at the top.

The bottom line is that the leaders of these operations will dictate how their dealership is ultimately perceived. The same is true of this new and emerging generation of the direct-to-consumer EV market. While we have generations of experience with the dealership model, we're just learning about automotive life without a layer between us and the manufacturer. As many here have noted, the Tesla experience is not the same for all people. It's not even consistent for the same person. It's great, until it isn't. Given time and the pressures of the market, these things will work themselves out.

In a Darwinian tale, a hundred years from now, imagine a conversation taking place as a vehicle transports friends across town: "It's hard to believe that humans used to have to pilot these things by themselves! Yeah, historians say that some folks actually enjoyed it. Wow! Yeah, and over 50,000 Americans died in 'accidents' in one year, and the population was nowhere near 1.2 billion! Man! That's unbelievable! What did we lose last year? It was less than 90 people, and strange as it sounds, over half were listening to some oldies satellite station playing someone named Taylor Swift, whoever that was, when their vehicles just veered off the roadway for no apparent reason. How weird! Back then, people actually owned these things! Stupid, right? They bought them from stores, but they called them 'dealerships'. Because they burned fossil fuels, they were always breaking down and needed to be fixed and these strange, T-Rex looking trucks would drag them back to the store to be fixed. What a nightmare!"

"These people even had large storage units in their homes and they drove these vehicles into them at night and closed these huge-ass doors and let them just sit there and take up all that space! They treated them like family members! Some of those vehicles, as smelly and loud as they were, actually were named by their families! How silly is that?! To keep their tires from tracking dirt into their storage units, they paved over the land and called it a 'driveway', even though they mostly just parked on it. What? Why would they do that? Apparently, these people bought so much crap that these storage units got highjacked, much like this thread, and they were full of other things, like something called a 'lawnmower' or a two-wheeled vehicle called a 'motorcycle'. Wow! That's crazy! Some of those Neanderthals actually converted their vehicle storage unit into a pseudo-living space they proudly called a 'Man Cave'! I haven't heard that word before. Really, you've never heard of a Cave? No, I get that. What is this 'Man' you speak of? It's a gender reference that was outlawed about a hundred years ago. Even historians say that the reasons are unclear. Apparently, The Great Bookburning Event of that era wiped out all of those records. I'm sorry, that was rude of me to use the 'M' word. I would never do that in public. Oh, look at that. We're here already!"
 

Pherdnut

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Probably can do what Rivian already plans to do in states that don't allow direct sales -- "deliver" in another state.
So I'd have to drive to Wisconsin to pick up an EV that's built in Illinois. It's so absurd. I'm assuming they can at least get your registration set up for Illinois to avoid the tax double-dip.
 

CommodoreAmiga

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So I'd have to drive to Wisconsin to pick up an EV that's built in Illinois. It's so absurd. I'm assuming they can at least get your registration set up for Illinois to avoid the tax double-dip.
My understanding is they'd still ship the car to you, but paperwork would have a different state listed on it.

Tesla has gotten around this, before, so Rivian can surely find a way (if legal).
 

Ribeye

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I’d be happy to “buy” a mobile franchise complete with a kitchen to provide coffee and snacks for any customer who wants to pay MSRP for their vehicle through my mobile dealership. To be fully transparent, I will subcontract the dealer operations to Rivian Guides, Inc. whose employees will take care of financing, tax, title and licensing. They will also work with the buyer to prearrange for vehicle delivery through one of three options- at home delivery, “drive off the assembly line experience in Normal”, or pick up at a Rivian Showroom of the buyers choosing.
 

skyote

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I’d be happy to “buy” a mobile franchise complete with a kitchen to provide coffee and snacks for any customer who wants to pay MSRP for their vehicle through my mobile dealership. To be fully transparent, I will subcontract the dealer operations to Rivian Guides, Inc. whose employees will take care of financing, tax, title and licensing. They will also work with the buyer to prearrange for vehicle delivery through one of three options- at home delivery, “drive off the assembly line experience in Normal”, or pick up at a Rivian Showroom of the buyers choosing.
Haha, I'm guessing you're someone else that has had to deal with ridiculous business arrangements or contracts. Private or public sector contracts?
 

Ribeye

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Haha, I'm guessing you're someone else that has had to deal with ridiculous business arrangements or contracts. Private or public sector contracts?
In-house commercial insurance regulatory attorney (in Illinois no less), a magnet at cocktail parties, dealing with laws almost as archaic as dealer franchise laws, the first of which I believe dates back to 1898. These so-called consumer protection laws really serve as barriers to entry and have not kept up with the pace of change.
 

Pherdnut

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In-house commercial insurance regulatory attorney (in Illinois no less), a magnet at cocktail parties, dealing with laws almost as archaic as dealer franchise laws, the first of which I believe dates back to 1898. These so-called consumer protection laws really serve as barriers to entry and have not kept up with the pace of change.
Maybe no better way to get an update then to piss off an 8 billion dollar EV company, the Governor, I would hope most state reps, and the entire population of BloNo and surrounding areas.
 

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