AD #2347 – Former VW CEO Charged in Diesel Scandal, Ferrari Is Minting Money, Dealers Respond to EV Critics

May 4th, 2018 at 11:38am

Runtime: 8:41

0:32 Former VW CEO Charged in Diesel Scandal
1:27 Ferrari Is Minting Money
2:30 Car Sales Soar in Brazil
3:34 GM’s Unique Approach to Lightweighting
4:32 Toyota Builds AV Test Center in Michigan
5:34 Dealers Respond to EV Critics

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27 Comments to “AD #2347 – Former VW CEO Charged in Diesel Scandal, Ferrari Is Minting Money, Dealers Respond to EV Critics”

  1. Albemarle Says:

    I don’t buy the dealer’s arguments about selling EVs. The people complaining the most are potential customers that can’t get a knowledgeable sales person or a dealer that has stock. Sure dealer groups can point to a particular dealer, but that’s the exception. These guys are too removed from what’s happening on the floor. And to be fair, there’s plenty of complaints about salesmen selling regular vehicles too.

  2. Chuck Grenci Says:

    If you make the analogy that electric vehicle sales are low because of lack of dealer interaction, and call that the forest, then the representative (in the interview) that points to a lone space in Colorado, well that explaining the question by pointing to a tree. Widespread, I think that they are not as knowledgeable as they claim and are guilty of the accusatory statement. And I agree with #1 Albemarle; I have never bought a new car, and after thinking about the experience, could say, that was easy (or at least enjoyable). The dealers are still lacking in so many ways in my opinion.

  3. Ziggy Says:

    I couldn’t agree more with Albemarle, sales people in the dealership don’t know anything about the cars they are selling, they could just as easily being selling washing machines for all their automotive knowledge, which is strange since they are usually just sitting around waiting for customers to come in, the perfect time to get on the web and see what makes a car tick. In my 57 years on this earth I have only come across one salesperson who knew anything about the cars he was selling, it was at an Acura dealership many years ago in Maryland and he actually raced Intregras in his spare time. Other than him I have yet to meet a car salesperson who know anything about what they are selling.

  4. WineGeek Says:

    John, I am a EV interested consumer we have owned 2 plug in Priuses and have found the biggest draw back to be dealers even those located in California emission states lack knowledgeable sales people and basic infrastructure to support EVs. We purchased a Prius plug-in from a large dealer in Connecticut when I brought it in for service I asked the service writer to please plug it in so it would be charged when I picked it up, he looked at me like I had three heads and said “Oh we don’t have any way to charge your vehicle.” So this dealer who sold a fair number of Prius plug-ins didn’t have a single charger in their large multi-lane service facility. Not much of a commitment to EVs in my opinion. I have run into similar experiences when I was looking for our second plug-in Hyundai dealers who said to me “We don’t sell the plug-in Sonata because we don’t have any way to charge them.

    One other point the salespeople I spoke with to a one all tried to convince me to purchase another model of vehicle. Telling me that the EV wasn’t worth the extra money or that you never save enough money utilizing electric to save the difference that the car costs.
    This doesn’t bolster the dealer’s contention that they sell what the consumer wants. They actually sell against the EVs from my personal first hand experience.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    In addition to dealers’ not knowing how to sell EV’s and plug-in hybrids, the manufacturers and distributors don’t even offer them for sale. Until recently, Chevy dealers in my part of Florida didn’t have Bolts on the lot, and still, the Southeast Toyota Distributor crooks don’t have Prius Primes. They still have a $699 S.E.D. surcharge, though, on the stickers of the other cars.

    Back to the topic of selling cars, a dealer selling any plug-in hybrid should have two available for test drives, one with a charged battery, and one with a dead battery. If I am considering a Volt or an i3 REx, I want to know what it sounds like, both with, and without the ICE running.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2 My only good buying experiences have been when I ordered a GM car, using my employee/retiree discount, without a trade. For pre-sold factory orders, the dealer is allowed to charge no more than $100 “document fee,’ period. You pay the pre-established price, plus sales tax, plus no more than $100 additional. That’s it.

    When I ordered my Corvette, the salesman, who had been at the same dealership for more than 30 years, was very knowledgable about how the car could be optioned. That’s rare, though, maybe even for Corvettes. As others have said, most car sales people don’t seem to know much about the products they are selling.

  7. Dave Hourd Says:

    A few questions relating to EVs that I have not seen discussed.
    1) Charging stations are being established for the vehicle. What infrastructure changes are in the works to provide power to the chargers? In other words how does the power get to the charger from the power station without overloading the existing infrastructure? No one wants to have either new overhead or buried power lines through their yards or streets. Assuming the 15% of yearly sales in the number of EVs some states are attempting to mandate it seems inevitable that there is potential for major distribution issues in the future. Installation of power transmission lines are unsightly, costly and take a fair amount of time to build.
    2) I’m watching the show on my battery powered PC while the power is flickering on and off due to high winds. What is the plan to insure people are not left stranded because of a protracted power outage?
    3) The complex regulations and the cost of building new generating capacity makes it difficult to get approval and there is a long delay before it can be brought on line. What plans are in place to address this issue?
    4) Some states have regulated most power sources beyond their borders. There is no benefit to society as a whole, if the plan is to move the source of pollution from one area into someone else’s back yard.
    5) Solar, wind power, nuclear and fossil fuel power plants are frowned upon for their environmental impact either through pollution or destruction of wildlife and their habitat. To add to this is the environmental cost of producing the miles of conductors and towers required to distribute power to the chargers. What other options are there?
    In my opinion all of these issues are important yet are being ignored by the lobby for electrification.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 All of your points are valid, but if I ever buy a plug-in car, I’ll charge it overnight, during low demand, from an existing 120v outlet. No new infrastructure will be required. Yeah, I still consider pure EV’s to be only commuter vehicles, to be charged at home.

    With a plug-in hybrid, like a Prius Prime, you can charge overnight for its 20-some miles of electric range. If there is a power outage, you are ok, since it will run on gas when need be.

  9. Mac Says:

    I’m sorry, but blaming the dealers and/or their employees for the lack of customers coming in to look at / buy EVs, seems silly to me. I’ve seen multiple Chevy dealers bring in Volts and Bolts, and then have them sit on their lots. If potential customers understand so little about these cars when they arrive, I doubt any salesperson can adequately backfill that knowledge gap even in 2 hours, which is far longer than I suspect anyone is willing to hang around learning about technology.

    My experience selling products in industry is that consumers buy what they want, not what retailers want to sell them.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 If I ever buy a pure EV, it will be for short distance driving, and I will charge it overnight from an existing 120 v outlet, using off-peak power, and needing no new infrastructure. That would also apply with a plug-in hybrid, like Prius Prime. It will charge in about 6 hours using a standard 120 v outlet.

  11. Kevin Anderson Says:

    Agree with comment #7. Proponents look at the cost of EVs only without looking at the total incremental cost. In the medium term (5-10 years min), necessary power grid upgrades would vastly outweigh the potential benefits of EVs.

  12. Kevin Anderson Says:

    #8 also makes an excellent point. How is it that OEMs or dealers have not done the obvious marketing ploys, like targeting Greenpeace or Sierra Club members? If you can’t sell to them, you can’t sell to anyone.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    How many Chevy sales people know that a Bolt can get about 40-50 miles of range, more than enough for most commutes, with an overnight charge using a standard outlet? It will work as a commuter car for many people, with no special outlets, etc The car is pricey compared to a Honda Fit or similar, though.

  14. Ukendoit Says:

    The drain on the grid from charging electric vehicles is less than the drain from adding HVAC to all the new houses going up and has been discussed on here before. The batteries in the vehicles and optional home power back-up batteries will actually even out current spikes in the grid. Home Depot has agreed to sell the Tesla Powerwall home batteries and even the solar roof shingles. The Powerwall could run your house for up to a week if needed, so even without an EV its not a bad investment.
    The alternative power sources are steadily getting better and getting smarter using different types in conjunction rather than a one-type-fits-all-situations approach.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Test

  16. Bob Wilson Says:

    The last offer from the local dealer sold me on buying an end-of-lease BMW I3-REx. I use EBay and the internet to buy my cars: new Prius Prime, new Gen-3, and used 2003 Prius.

    I have low expectations for dealers and they continue to fail even these.

    Bob Wilson

  17. Barry T Says:

    4 I find your comment interesting about expecting your car to be charged while in service. It has never occurred to me to insist on having my gas tank to be filled while it’s in service which is really the same thing! I don’t think any service bays have gas pumps either! I find this and comments like it to highlight yet another double standard for electric vehicles.

    As far as product Knowledge goes, I have had a variety of Experiences and yes a lot of times I know a lot more about the car than the sales person does, but I am also not relying on them for information as I show up ready. My biggest interest is whether they are going to be reasonable to deal with on price and straightforward in communication.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 When I take my car to the dealer for my two years’ free service, the work order says something like “top off fluids.” They somehow neglect to top off the gas tank.

  19. Ukendoit Says:

    Pertaining to #4, looks like the cord in the trunk can plug into any standard outlet to charge the vehicle, so although it would be a stretch to get the dealer to top off the gas, it seems reasonable to plug it in on your request. I’m sure they have power outlets in the service bay, and although the service adviser may not be knowledgeable, I bet the mechanic could figure out how to plug one end in the wall and one in the car. If not, you could give him the YouTube link on my name above!

  20. Ukendoit Says:

    The charging cord in the Prius trunk can plug into a standard outlet. I could understand if they don’t have a dedicated 240 volt charger available, but I’m sure the service bays have plenty of standard outlets. The service adviser may not be knowledgeable, but I bet the mechanic could figure out how to plug one end into the vehicle and the other in the wall. If not, you could show him the YouTube video link attached to my name above!
    Gassing a vehicle up may be a stretch, but plugging into the wall while it sits there seems reasonable upon your request. In fact, with all the millions spent on advertising, this could be a customer service that would be an easy, inexpensive way for the dealership to draw customer’s in.

  21. Ukendoit Says:

    The charging cord in the Prius trunk can plug into a standard outlet. I could understand if the dealer doesn’t have a dedicated 240 volt charger available, but I’m sure the service bays have plenty of standard outlets. The service adviser may not be knowledgeable, but I bet the mechanic could figure out how to plug one end into the vehicle and the other in the wall. If not, you could show him the YouTube video link attached to my name above!
    Gassing a vehicle up may be a stretch, but plugging into the wall while it sits there seems reasonable upon your request. In fact, with all the millions spent on advertising, this could be a customer service that would be an easy, inexpensive way for the dealership to draw customer’s in.

  22. Ukendoit Says:

    Test – this is my 3rd time entering my comment; none are visible yet.

  23. Ukendoit Says:

    Re: service charging
    Watching the link on my name, the charging cord in the trunk plugs into any standard wall outlet. I could understand the dealership not having an extra 240 volt rapid charger available, and gassing up the car may be excessive, but they should plug it in upon request. The service adviser may not be able to figure that out, but I’m sure the mechanic could plug one end in the vehicle and the other in the outlet.
    With all the money they spend on advertising, the small task and minimal cost of plugging a cord in could be a great customer convenience to tout in local ads or inside the dealership.

  24. Ukendoit Says:

    Watching the link attached, there is a cord in the trunk that can be plugged in to any standard outlet with minimal effort or cost to the dealership. I don’t think that would be unreasonable to do for a customer upon request.

  25. Ukendoit Says:

    Watching the attached link (above), there is a cord in the trunk that can be plugged in to any standard outlet with minimal effort or cost to the dealership. I don’t think that would be unreasonable to do for a customer upon request.

  26. Cycles Says:

    I will add my anecdote to the bunch as well pertaining to the quality of dealers. Having purchased a 2010 Fusion Hybrid and a 2012 Volt I too experienced sales staff steering me away from the vehicles I came in for, and not having really any knowledge about them. At that time there was a push from the companies to have cars on hand for test drives. Now I cannot locate a Bolt in the 4 local dealers we have in surrounding communities. It sure seems like they are trying to pretend they don’t exist! Luckily these cars are extremely low maintenance so no need to rely on the inadequate dealers for that!

  27. Ukendoit Says:

    I want to apologize for posting the same thing 7 times. All morning and afternoon yesterday I was trying and nothing posted except that “test” post. I even looked using other computers and my phone. It wasn’t that important, so I gave up, but still checked from my phone and again on my work computer this morning. Still nothing. Finally, later this morning ALL my attempts showed up! DOH! Glad to see it is working again though.