As inventory slowly increases for many dealers across the country, that means they have more electric vehicles from OEMs on their lots to sell. Evelyn Cardenas, President, and CEO of the Central Florida Automobile Dealers Association, discusses the sentiment of the dealers she represents.
Regardless of the current pull between pro-EV and pro-ICE consumers, it all comes down to the consumer’s demands. Cardenas claims that “dealers are franchisees that will sell what they get.” According to Cardenas, there are many charging stations in Central Florida, and “investments coming from the city, the counties and the IRA will aid in growing the existing number of stations to even more,” she adds.
Customers were thrilled by the EVs from the legacy OEMs that CFADA displayed at their December Auto Show. As the major automakers, like GM, Ford, Kia, Hyundai, and others, join Central Florida, they offer a great product to put in the hands of the customer. Tesla and Rivian, two newcomers, are selling EVs directly to consumers. According to Cardenas, “these OEMs know how to compete and sell in the free commerce market as long as it corresponded with Florida’s franchise law. “The market is better for everyone when there is competition.”
However, OEMs like Rivian have just announced a significant recall for their vehicles. Because Rivian lacks the present infrastructure to carry out the repairs and adjustments they require, manufacturers like GM and Ford are assisting in repairing those recalls. The nationwide GM dealers within a ten-mile radius have made this relationship convenient for both dealers and customers. As both ICE and EVs could receive servicing at the dealerships, Cardenas continues, “this speaks to the robustness of the legacy brands.”
To encourage more consumers to try out the EVs that manufacturers are releasing, Central Florida has been collaborating closely with FADA and metro associations. It’s important to highlight that customers have choices. Cardenas claims to have seen information stating that the Kia EV6 is 3.2 seconds quicker than the Lamborghini and the Porsche Taycan.
“Consumers need education,” says Cardenas. They should receive general education and information on range anxiety and the possibility of charge loss in colder conditions. Therefore, a significant education campaign was recently undertaken by Central Florida to develop the next generation of technicians. Because, they require less maintenance, eventually the ability to repair these vehicles will be required, according to Cardenas. “We have all the autonomous vehicles and the EV units, but not the talent to repair them if needed.” READ MORE