Consumer Reports: Car dealers botch EVs

Bill Murray in StripesTesla isn’t so crazy after all. Dealerships really do bungle EV sales, Consumer Reports has found after an undercover investigation. Speaking from 16 years’ experience on the sales floor, here are the issues at play when a newfangled product — electric or otherwise — hits the showroom:

  • Sometimes the vehicle arrives before training begins in earnest. So the earliest adopters get the shortest shrift.
  • High turnover at dealerships requires training anew every few months. Not going to happen, folks.
  • Salespeople want the fastest route to a sale, especially during peak periods (weekends). Selling is quick. Educating is not, especially when you aren’t fully educated.
  • When it’s time for the customer to pick up the vehicle, well that’s a whole ‘nother problem. You’re supposed to get into even more detail.
  • And then the phone rings. Customer has follow-up questions you can’t answer.
  • And then the customer satisfaction survey comes. This affects your bonus every month. One bad survey could cost you and your manager hundreds in manufacturer and dealer bonuses, negating any commission you made on the sale and then some.

Ergo, you avoid early adopters when humanly possible. That’s the fact, Jack.

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