Published on August 25th, 2020 |
by Johnna Crider
August 25th, 2020 by Johnna Crider
Dealerships in America hate Tesla — that is well known. But I was kind of surprised to see that it’s very similar on the other side of the planet in Australia. As an example of that, a customer who recently wanted to buy an EV was met with being humiliated by the dealerships for even thinking about switching to electric, according to The Driven.
The dealer reportedly told a potential customer, “The Americans make bad cars and honestly, Tesla is the worst of the bunch.” Such dealers, in my opinion, are either being told to say this, are just lying, or have never fully experienced a Tesla or any other type of EV. And if the latter is the case, then they need to be fired for not doing their jobs, which include learning about all of the products on the market.
In a social media post by the customer who wanted to remain anonymous, this shows just how uneducated and misinformed many dealerships are across the board. They either don’t get the tech or see EVs as a loss instead of a win — especially when it comes to servicing vehicles.
The anonymous buyer shared their experience in an EV enthusiast group. They said that the experience started at a Brisbane Hyundai dealership that left them waiting for a pre-booked test drive — twice. They eventually gave up and tried another dealership.
The new one was in a rural location outside of Brisbane and the potential buyers chose it to support the regional areas as well as to test drive an EV. The EV they wanted to try was the Hyundai Ioniq, which can be a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or electric. The potential buyer said that this was where the journey went “pear-shaped.” (In the US, this analogy is synonymous with “going south”).
The dealer left the couple feeling humiliated and stupid for wanting to buy an electric car. They claimed that the Ioniq didn’t have a suitable range, couldn’t be charged at home, and would need extensive servicing. The customer said that when they previously requested a servicing schedule for the Kona Electric and Ioniq Electric, they’d been sent one for the gas or hybrid versions.
The conversation between the potential buyer and the dealership (you can read the original story from The Driven here) is as follows:
Anyway, the salesman’s first question was “Why do you want to go electric?”
Well, to save money
“So you’re aware the hybrid is over $10,000 cheaper?”
“So you want the hybrid?”
No, I want the BEV
“But it’s more expensive”
Yes. I know that, but long term it’s cheaper. The fuel savings alone for my wife driving 800km a week will be good enough over the life of the car. She drives 200km a day, 4 days a week.
“You know it’s real world range is only around 300km each charge right?”
Yes, but she doesn’t drive over 300km in a hit normally, it’s her commute, 90km one way, 90km return, might do some shopping on the way home.
“Where do you plan to charge it?”
“Do you have the capacity to do that?”
My house has electricity. So yes. (Personally I’m thinking who doesn’t have electricity at their house these days)
“Yes, but do you have the capacity to charge at home?”
Mate, I’ve got single and 3 phase, and solar, yes, I can charge.
“But you know the Electric is $10,000 more expensive than the Hybrid right?”
Yeah you said that, but I’m saving on the servicing.
“But the electrics still need servicing”
Yeah on that, what are you servicing there? Because other EV manufacturers don’t do 15,000km services, and when I contacted the other dealer in Brisbane that I attempted to go to in February on both the Kona and Ioniq, they sent me the standardized Hyundai combustion motor service schedule. First on the list was “Change engine oil” which clearly they are not doing as an electric doesn’t have an engine.
(At this point he seemed to get a bit flustered)
“Yeah well they check your brake pads, bushes, brake fluid, umm, do software updates, top up your coolant, you know, normal service stuff”
There’s more. The dealer started trashing Tesla, saying, “The Americans make bad cars, and honestly, Tesla is the worst of the bunch.” When asked what makes them so bad, the dealer started ranting about how much he hated Tesla. “He got passionate,” the buyer said in the post. The dealer complained about the trim, seats not locking in, paint issues, panel gaps, frunks flying open on the highways, and more. Moving on, the customer wanted to know when the dealer would have an EV available. This is what the dealer said:
“Don’t know, we don’t really sell many of them, they’re just too expensive.”
At this point, the customer thanked him for his time and left. When The Driven reached out to Hyundai Australia, they declined to comment. Although, the Brisbane dealership did reach out to them to try to solve the problem.
Ignorant Dealers Who Are Pre-Biased Are An Obstacle For EVs
In one of his videos, Sean Mitchell explained why auto dealerships are “anti-American” (or anti-Australian in this case). It seems that they are simply anti-EVs, due to ignorance that is purposely promoted as facts with baseless and unresearched information (aka FUD).
The truth is that, here in the US at least, dealers make a lot of money off of the average buyer’s ignorance when it comes to buying cars.
The American model gives certain privileges to dealers over consumers who might want to buy directly from the vehicle maker — such as Tesla. Many states here are “anti-Tesla,” since they have laws that prevent a customer from being able to buy a Tesla. Sure, you can buy the car online and have it delivered to a service center, but some states don’t even allow that. You have to go out of state to pick up your car. In many of these states, Tesla is not allowed to sell from its showrooms. You can go look at and touch the car, but you can’t buy it in person. These laws were lobbied for by the dealers in many states, which claimed that they would go out of business if Tesla was to be able to sell the cars directly to customers. It’s all about money. Unless dealerships can find a way to make money, they will not push EVs.
Time For Dealers To Wake Up
Telling someone what to do with their money is insulting. If you are a dealer, your job is to make a sale — I get it. However, allowing the customers to leave empty-handed is not how you do your job. If you think it is, you’re not doing your job right.
If you want to keep your job, evolve. EVs are here to stay and you should learn about the tech behind them — not just Teslas, but all of them. Electric is the future, and if you really want to make bank, you’ll take the opportunity that is presented to you. (Hello, you have EVs to sell, learn about them!) Stop bullying customers, and start empowering yourself.
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