Autos

General Motors will not offer buyouts to GMC dealers who don't want to sell Hummer EVs

Key Points
  • GM does not plan to offer buyouts to GMC dealers like it has for Cadillac dealers who don't want to invest to sell all-electric vehicles.
  • About half of GMC's 1,695 dealers have agreed to invest and sell electric vehicles, beginning next fall with the brand's Hummer EV pickup.
  • Roughly 150 Cadillac dealers accepted buyouts as the Detroit automaker pivots the luxury brand to lead its all-electric vehicle efforts.

In this article

2022 GMC Hummer EV sport utility truck "Edition 1"
GM

DETROIT – General Motors does not plan to offer buyouts to GMC dealers like it has for franchise owners of its Cadillac brand who don't want to invest in stores to sell all-electric vehicles.

Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC, said the brand is executing a "very different strategy" regarding EVs than Cadillac. About half of GMC's 1,695 dealers have agreed to invest and sell electric vehicles, beginning next fall with the brand's Hummer EV pickup.

"We will not be going down a similar strategy as Cadillac," Aldred said Tuesday during a virtual media event. "What the position is with Hummer EV is that it's a participation agreement for dealers. It is optional for each and every dealer."

The Hummer is the first all-electric vehicle for the brand. It also is the debut vehicle for GM's next-generation Ultium batteries and architecture. Three additional EVs, including an SUV version of the Hummer and another pickup, are expected for GMC under a previously announced plan by GM to invest $27 billion in EVs and autonomous vehicles through 2025.

VIDEO18:0318:03
The race between Tesla, GM, Rivian and others to dominate electric pickup trucks

GMC expects additional dealers could agree to sell EVs as more information about the vehicles becomes available, Aldred said. The expense for dealers to sell the Hummer EV varies based on store, according to Aldred.

Phil Brook, GMC vice president of marketing, said GMC is asking dealers to invest "for the basics," including training and charging infrastructure.

Aldred said GMC expects expenses for "the vast majority of dealers" to be "a lot less than the top-stop number that's been reported." For Cadillac, it was at least $200,000 to upgrade dealerships and offer required training, according to Automotive News.

About 150 Cadillac dealers accepted buyouts as the Detroit automaker pivots the luxury brand to lead its all-electric vehicle efforts, a person familiar with the details confirmed to CNBC.

VIDEO2:2802:28
General Motors just unveiled its first all-electric Hummer—the GMC Hummer EV

There are a couple reasons why buyouts for Cadillac dealers make more sense than GMC, including GM's plan for Cadillac to lead its EV efforts.

A majority, if not all, of its Cadillac cars and SUVs sold globally are expected to be EVs by 2030. That means Cadillac dealers have to be all-in on EVs unlike GMC, which is expected to retain a mix of EVs and vehicles with internal combustion engines for the foreseeable future.  

GM for years also has tried to shrink the number of its Cadillac dealers to be more in line with other luxury brands. Many GMC franchises also share rooftops and operations with other brands, specifically Buick franchises. Dropping GMC would leave many dealers with substantially less revenue and sales.

GMC said Tuesday that it's producing prototype Hummer EVs for validation tests on the vehicle, which will soon begin winter testing in northern Michigan.

GM unveiled the new Hummer in October as an all-electric "supertruck." A launch version called the "Edition 1" will start at roughly $113,000 when it goes on sale next year. Lower-priced models are expected in the coming years.