While analysts predict that electric vehicle (EV) sales will skyrocket, they account for less than 3% of all new vehicle sales today. Right now, the EV market is stuck in a “chasm” separating early adopters of new technology and most car buyers. Geoffrey Moore’s adoption curve illustrates this well.
Although sticker prices are higher for EVs, the overall cost of ownership is comparatively less than gasoline-powered vehicles, according to new data published in January 2021 by MIT. Electricity is cheaper than gas, there is no oil to change, and EVs have fewer moving parts and lower maintenance costs.
The US automotive industry is conservative, and resistance is high among traditional franchise auto dealers. The economics of EVs are different, and dealership upgrades to support this change can be expensive. Plus, the perceived reduction in maintenance and repair business is a frightening prospect for store owners. Automotive OEMs have aggressive EV strategies, but dealers aren’t ready to sacrifice the long-term profitability of gasoline-powered vehicles.
Think Big. Start Small. Scale Fast.
For those auto dealers who want to cross the chasm, here’s a quick overview of a strategy that Ardent can bring to life for you.
Pick a vehicle. Before the market becomes completely saturated, find the segment that’s aligned with your strengths and make a commitment to dominate.
Market the “Whole Product.” To be successful, there needs to be a complete experience around owning an EV. Manufacturers must advertise to drive consumer awareness. Dealers must be committed to a new sales process, and sales consultants must evolve to become product specialists.
Customer education is your marketing strategy. Entice your customers with experiential education. Dedicate dealership space to the EV customer experience and become involved in their communities by sponsoring events where the public can get behind the wheel and experience EVs firsthand.
Empower the Product Specialist
Here’s the truth. The early adopters who enter your stores will know more than your sales team if you let them. The information your sales team needs to acquire is the easiest kind of knowledge to teach and learn.
Your product specialists must be able to answer five basic questions:
What is the range of this vehicle?
How long does it take to recharge?
Where are public charging stations?
What are the maintenance requirements?
What’s the net cost with all the tax benefits?
This is where we start. We build a foundation with factual information and learn new skills for making strong human connections with EV customers, one segment at a time.
Are you ready to climb out of the chasm? Is it time to seize the EV opportunity? Let Ardent support your EV strategy so you can lead the charge. Ardent is your partner for performance improvement and innovation – let’s get started on your EV transformation today.