Spend $200,000 to upgrade for electric future or move on


General Motors is betting big on battery-electric vehicles, and its Cadillac brand will spearhead the rollout of the zero-emission vehicles.

The automaker has already revealed the Cadillac Lyriq crossover SUV due in early 2022 and confirmed four additional EVs for the luxury brand, including a flagship sedan. Cadillac could even become a full-EV brand by 2030 depending how the market evolves.

Naturally, GM wants Cadillac dealerships to get on board—which means they’ll need to spend big to upgrade their facilities with charging, tooling and training for EVs.

The minimum spend will be $200,000, Mahmoud Samara, vice president of Cadillac North America, told Automotive News (subscription required) in an interview published Monday. And for those dealers who don’t want to upgrade for the EV transformation, GM is offering cash on the table if they close up shop, in some cases higher than $500,000, he said.

“We wanted to move fast and make sure dealers are ready for the acceleration,” Samara said. “This is purely an option for those dealers who feel the EV journey is not suitable for them.”

GM has previously expressed a desire to reduce the number of Cadillac dealers in the United States, which currently stands at 880. Back in 2016, the automaker offered a similar payment to some of the smaller operations if they closed.

One issue with the EV transformation could be a loss in revenue for dealerships. EVs typically require less maintenance than their internal-combustion counterparts, and they could become even more reliable down the road as the technology improves. This is because they tend to have fewer moving parts, and of course there are no more oil changes and engine tuneups. This will be something dealerships will need to prepare for when it comes to EVs, in addition to upgrading their facilities.


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