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Your points are valid, though I think it would also be fair to assume that a manufacturer, of any type of customer object, should be prepared to service any specific needs of that item once it hits the market. Buying a Bolt does not come with a disclaimer that service windows will be longer due to lack of knowledge of the vehicle throughout dealer networks. In theory, prior to release of a new item, the manufacturer should be prepared to provide reliable service to its clients. I also think that, depending on the dealership, there will be significant differences in the ability to service EVs, as has been displayed on this forum. Unfortunately the dealership closest to my home seems, according to reports I've seen and interaction with other customers, ill-prepared to service any type of vehicle, let alone EVs.

I should nuance that my experience with other manufacturers hasn't all been related to warranty repairs. I never had a problem with my BMW (bought new and under warranty) or Audi (bought used and out of warranty) and had to do limited repairs on my 2006 Cayman S (bought used and out of warranty) which, at 13 years old, understandably has required a couple "wear and tear" interventions (replaced starter, replaced battery). That said, these experiences have been sufficient to develop an impression of each dealer network and the experience that was offered.
They don't seem to want to sell EVs though. Until people start driving them and demanding them, they don't have much incentive to set up a strong service network.
 

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They don't seem to want to sell EVs though. Until people start driving them and demanding them, they don't have much incentive to set up a strong service network.
I'm sure some part of GM corporate wants to sell EVs (not in large numbers) as hedges for the future or PR or "beta testing" tech for future autonomous vehicles, but a big problem is the disconnect between GM corporate and the dealership network. It seems like GM corporate has a hard time forcing the dealer network to do what they ask even for the small EV market within GM. I'm guessing we'll see little improvement on this while EVs represent such a small fraction of sales and small income for the dealerships after sale.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
They don't seem to want to sell EVs though. Until people start driving them and demanding them, they don't have much incentive to set up a strong service network.
Chicken or the egg situation it would appear?

Dealer doesn't want to invest in that technology until they feel it represents a large enough part of their business, while customer doesn't want to invest in that technology until they feel that their service needs will be met.

To me, the incentive for GM is simple. It's overall customer satisfaction. After the experience I have had my chances of buying another GM vehicle, EV or not, are slim to none (may still get another Bolt if they offer me an amazing buy-back deal). Is that 100% down to the fact that it was an EV, no. But it contributed. Their constant lack of knowledge was a real problem and caused multiple extended stays at their dealership.
 

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Just thinking aloud here, I see EVs representing a big move towards commoditization of the automobile. That is to say, that less will distinguish the brands, profit margins will shrink, and the industry will consolidate in the future. Even when EVs are the dominant vehicle sold, I don't think they will represent the large profit margins companies seek. The real money will be in the next thing; autonomous vehicle systems. This is evident by the large investment into research that GM and others are pouring into the tech.

EVs might have a part to play in this, but it's kind of a minor part. I expect GM will continue to improve everything from vehicle design to customer experience at dealerships to the extent that it fits with their business objectives.
 

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They don't seem to want to sell EVs though. Until people start driving them and demanding them, they don't have much incentive to set up a strong service network.
But what service? Rotate the tires, add windshield washer fluid, change the cabin air filter - this doesn't build a profitable service area. Maybe the problem is the lack of service needs. Are BEVs too reliable?
 

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But what service? Rotate the tires, add windshield washer fluid, change the cabin air filter - this doesn't build a profitable service area. Maybe the problem is the lack of service needs. Are BEVs too reliable?
Good point! They will have to come up with a new service and maintenance schedule to keep us coming back to drain our wallet. How about something like an electron flush, battery cell health check or pedestrian alert decibel check. Hopefully someone from GM doesn't read this, it might give them ideas!
 

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Discussion Starter #27
But what service? Rotate the tires, add windshield washer fluid, change the cabin air filter - this doesn't build a profitable service area. Maybe the problem is the lack of service needs. Are BEVs too reliable?
Haha, very accurate. Usually the only reason why you end up going to the dealership for an EV is ultra basic maintenance or a major issue. Not a big money maker for them on the newer cars. We'll have to see though how that evolves with aging of the vehicles and the needs that may create.
 

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Haha, very accurate. Usually the only reason why you end up going to the dealership for an EV is ultra basic maintenance or a major issue. Not a big money maker for them on the newer cars. We'll have to see though how that evolves with aging of the vehicles and the needs that may create.
I am very sorry to hear about your experiences with your Bolt, Kendallg. I am narrowing down my search of an EV to a 2019 Bolt and living in S. Cal. Would you mind sharing the infamous dealership name? Feel free to message me directly the info.
 

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Funny the EV "service" aspect comes up so often, but it may become an issue in the future.

In 2012 when I bought my Plug-in Prius the sales rep brought me in the back and introduced me to the Service Manager.
When I bought my 2014 Volt the sales rep did the same thing.

When I bought the Bolt in 2017... they didn't bother with the Service Dep. tour and meet and greet.
 

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The first salesperson I ran into tried to correct me when I asked to see the Bolt, as I must be looking for a Volt. I tried to reiterate Bolt, to which he replied no such thing. lol. But when I did buy it, no tour of the shop.....Up to this point, I've bought a new car every 3 years, I think I've pretty much always been given the award winning superior service department tour prior.
 

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my Bolt salesperson took me back to meet the service department...
Last time I got that tour I asked 'What fails first on a Trooper?' Service manager's answer was the flat windshield is like a billboard, expect a broken windshield from flying rocks from time to time. (It ate two in 15 years). 'Anything else?' No, they don't come in often for more than just service. To the salesman: 'OK. I won't need an extended warranty then'. :)
 
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