A new report reveals that U.S. car dealers are not happy with the Biden administration’s direction in the auto industry. According to the Dealer Outlook Survey for 2022, dealers have aired complaints affecting the industry including the president’s plan to boost sales of electric vehicles.
The survey was released by Automotive News and relied on data from 196 car dealers and dealership managers. Despite last year’s record profits, car dealers are reluctant in praising the president’s call for an EV transition. In fact they are saying that the current administration has had a negative effect on their businesses.
The majority of the respondents found Biden’s 2030 goal of electric vehicles accounting for 50% of new vehicles sold to be too aggressive. They estimated that by 2020, electric vehicles would account for 20%. The respondents wanted the administration to let automakers make the decisions on their inventories while at the same time allow consumers to choose what they want.
Others have found a problem with the rate at which the electrification process is taking place. Paul Tracy, the owner of used-car dealership Auto Wholesale, finds that this transition is being “forced” and compares it to putting a cart before a horse. As an operator based in Wilmington, NC, he notes that there is nonavailability of infrastructure and also adds that there is a lack of a system in which EV drivers are going to assist in taking care of the roads.
Another dealer was quoted as saying that the industry was being turned upside down because of the rate. This issue is echoed by other dealers who are concerned about the profits they will generate in future. Most of them do not think that they will see returns on their investments in EV chargers and training. As a result, they find Biden’s plans for the industry to be disruptive
According to Lee Wilson of Timbrook Automotive, training is a huge issue. This is because it is already a problem to get employees besides finding those who are ready to work on electric vehicles. His dealership has operations in Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania and sells Ford, Chevrolet, Honda, and Nissan, among other brands.
As the year progresses, Biden’s plan is dealing with multiple crises including inflation, supply chain issues and skyrocketing prices of nickel as result of the Russian invasion in Ukraine. One respondent said that Biden would have put the auto industry into a recession were it not for the chip shortage. Another respondent said that hovering tax issues continue to have a negative impact on the industry.
On the other hand, some respondents have found the administration’s efforts for a green economy to have positive effects on their business. According to Kjell Bergh of Borton Volvo Cars, the president’s persistence has increased adoption of electric vehicles and with an approaching tipping point, change is likely to happen extremely fast. The retailer operates in Minnesota as a Polestar distributor and has noted a sharp rise in interest in electric vehicles.
Change is always hard when people have been used to doing things a certain way, and one wouldn’t be surprised to find that EV makers such as Mullen Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN) make their sales projections as conservative as possible to accommodate the time needed for the motoring public to adjust their minds and hearts away from the ICE vehicles they are used to.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Mullen Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/MULN
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