The President of Audi of America, Scott Keogh, made some interesting comments at a conference the day before the recent National Association of Automobile Dealers convention in New Orleans, as recounted by Wards Auto.
The crux of these comments was that the brand’s auto dealers needed to get onboard with the pushing of plug-in electric vehicles. Lack of dealership knowledge and willingness to stock + sell these cars remains a major hurdle to higher plug-in electric vehicle sales for most manufacturers operating in the United States.
Notably, Audi’s only plug-in electric vehicle offering in the US right now is the A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid (PHEV), but the company is planning to release a number of new plug-ins over the coming years.
“We have the resources, the scale, the infrastructure, the customers (and) the dealers to compete in this new order,” Keogh said, according to Wards Auto. That language seems to indicate that Keogh (and his superiors) see electric vehicles as the future, the fast-approaching future.
Green Car Reports provides more:
“But, he indicated, the German luxury brand’s US dealers must ’embrace the unfolding market trends of electrification and mobility or face an uncertain future.’ …
“Keogh told the assembled dealers that the battery range of pure electric vehicles would soon reach 400 miles, and eventually 500 miles, eliminating worries about both range and charging infrastructure.”
“And he advised them to start thinking now about opportunities to earn money around battery-electric vehicles to offset the lower service and parts revenue they will provide.”
What exactly are these opportunities being referenced by Keogh? The installation of home charging stations is apparently a major one, sensibly. Given how much money is made off of maintenance, though, it seems unlikely that the dealerships will be able to completely recoup lost revenue this way.
Interestingly, Keogh also mentioned that he thought widespread price discounting was setting up dealers for future problems. The loss accompanying price discounting is typically being recovered by service and parts revenue, something that won’t persist into a future with strong plug-in sales.
Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.