Dealerships Are Dying

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After owning two Teslas that did not have a service center near me and now an electric BMW that I pass the dealership twice per day, I certainly appreciate having a service center. That said, the BMW has only needed to go in one time. The Teslas needed several service calls. I don’t know what Scout’s solution will be. But, a physical location that is somewhat convenient to have repairs, modifications, but accessories or parts goes a long way toward consumer confidence IMO.
 
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No idea on what Scout Motors approach on this topic will be, but I passed a cool old brick building the other day as your approach downtown Kansas City with a faintly painted "International Harvester" on it. It got me thinking, what a cool place for a Scout Motors Hub! ....which then got me thinking about the above post again and how Scout Motors could ask the people to post interesting spots to consider. Nobody knows the areas better than the people that live in them.

So here is one of mine:

This is in the West Bottoms area, which has a lot of history and old buildings. A lot of which are being snatched up and revitalized. Scout Motors could be the next one ;)

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.097...O9U7Q!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?authuser=0&entry=ttu

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Who has other ideas? Copy/Paste Google street view link and a picture. An abandoned old brick building in a small downtown square? Scenic overlook between major cities? Something off the beaten path? Location with things to do in the area while charging?
Funny you mention this. Early on I was sending similar ideas to Jamie. My initial thought is the old (call it Route 66) style service garages with the stepped fronts or old bays. Then put in big store front glass panels and maybe a neon Scout Motors sign. Old firehouses are also very common in the northeast. Both would make great small dealer shops/deliveries and would have the historic flair as you mentioned @Harris005
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Just wait till 2028, then you buy the build plans from SM, and have a local shop 3D print your ride.
 
Matt love your input and ideas and all I can say is that many of them were under discussion already - great minds think alike! Scout hasn't officially announced anything yet regarding our sales channels. Chris and I are discussing ways to share things with the community without over committing to something that may or may not happen or giving away too much. Stay tuned and keep the ideas/suggestions flowing.
Thanks Jamie.

My wife and I were talking and her hope was that it would be something like "European Delivery" but in SC. This would mean I could come pick up my Scout when it's ready, get a factory tour, then either 1. Drive the car home or 2. Drive the car for a vacation in that area (say a week or two) and then return it to Scout Motors to be shipped to Seattle.

Many of the European carmakers do something like that (BMW and Volvo do for sure) when going to the factory in Europe. I believe BMW also has something like I'm suggesting at the Spartanburg, SC plant.

I know this doesn't solve your ultimate channel and bulk delivery model, but it would be a cool program to offer for customers who want to bear the expense of coming to SC to get their Scout from the factory. I'm sure your mind is also swimming with the major amount of earned media customers could help generate by sharing their delivery experience at the factory and their "first days" with their Scouts in the Carolinas.
 
Thanks Jamie.

My wife and I were talking and her hope was that it would be something like "European Delivery" but in SC. This would mean I could come pick up my Scout when it's ready, get a factory tour, then either 1. Drive the car home or 2. Drive the car for a vacation in that area (say a week or two) and then return it to Scout Motors to be shipped to Seattle.

Many of the European carmakers do something like that (BMW and Volvo do for sure) when going to the factory in Europe. I believe BMW also has something like I'm suggesting at the Spartanburg, SC plant.

I know this doesn't solve your ultimate channel and bulk delivery model, but it would be a cool program to offer for customers who want to bear the expense of coming to SC to get their Scout from the factory. I'm sure your mind is also swimming with the major amount of earned media customers could help generate by sharing their delivery experience at the factory and their "first days" with their Scouts in the Carolinas.
I’ve done the BMW, SC performance delivery and it was top notch. Hope SM pulls off something similar
 
While the idea of dealing factory direct...and even collecting our Scout's at the factory for those of us within a 12 hour drive( it will unfortunately due to range and recharge probably twice as long to return home) the issue of delivery prep and warranty service come to mind.

Inros did not seek out only BMW dealers probably thinking the engines need very little service...but they did pick dealers that are not normally considered to be in the thick of offroading. (My son's Grenadier dealer is a Bentley dealer)

Early on Ford was going to have separate stand alone Bronco dealerships or at least a new separate building on site
Have yet to see one.

On another note....heard of adapters that will allow most EVs to charge at a Tesla station
 
While the idea of dealing factory direct...and even collecting our Scout's at the factory for those of us within a 12 hour drive( it will unfortunately due to range and recharge probably twice as long to return home) the issue of delivery prep and warranty service come to mind.

Inros did not seek out only BMW dealers probably thinking the engines need very little service...but they did pick dealers that are not normally considered to be in the thick of offroading. (My son's Grenadier dealer is a Bentley dealer)

Early on Ford was going to have separate stand alone Bronco dealerships or at least a new separate building on site
Have yet to see one.

On another note....heard of adapters that will allow most EVs to charge at a Tesla station
The dilemma with using existing dealers is which one? As VWAG is the “parent” company it is the obvious choice-HOWEVER, due to diesel-gate many people have a bad taste in their mouth about VW not to mention SM is trying to separate/distinguish the vehicle. If you choose Audi/Porsche or other VWAG umbrella vehicles now you are perceived as a luxury vehicle which I’m sure nobody on this forum wants.
To make it more challenging, in my area many of those dealers are all under one dealership so they get lumped together making it even more homogeneous-so to speak.
As I mentioned, having done the BMW delivery experience years ago I’ll do that with SM in an instant-even with a 10-12 hour return drive, just need to plan the return trip home accordingly 😀
 
New car dealers are terrible. Putting a third party between with their own agenda between you and your customers is a terrible idea. Just give me a Scout Motors website where I can click “buy” and have my new Scout arrive by flatbed. For service, they can do a combination of on site for easy stuff and flatbed to their regional center to start with until they get their volume up.
 
Every IHC tractor dealer took delivery of a Scout 80, in pickup livery. I cannot recall clearly ( as I was 10) if our Scout was ordered and delivered through the local tractor store or from the big truck store.

But finding a gaggle of existing dealers willing to sell and service an all electric new vehicle may be more difficult than normal. Maybe any of the remaining g Buick dealers? Half are now shuttered because the dealer principals did not want to embrace and invest in the 100% EV mandate from GM
 
New car dealers are terrible. Putting a third party between with their own agenda between you and your customers is a terrible idea. Just give me a Scout Motors website where I can click “buy” and have my new Scout arrive by flatbed. For service, they can do a combination of on site for easy stuff and flatbed to their regional center to start with until they get their volume up.
I’ve had nothing but horrible experiences buying cars at dealerships. Buying a car is something I dread. I think people would actually upgrade their vehicles more often if the dealership experience was not so bad.

I have no problem buying a vehicle with a click on a website so long as it is the manufacturers own website that I trust. I’d also like to be able to configure and get exactly what I want rather than being forced to choose from whatever a dealership ordered.

I think an adventure vehicle should be something that the user ought to be able to fix to some extent, even if out in the middle of nowhere. Even Queen Elizabeth II was known to occasionally fix her own Land Rover. Scout should have their own service centers but I certainly don’t want to have to go to a service center or have the vehicle picked up on a flat bed to fix some silly little thing that a competent user should be able to fix themselves.
 
Gotta say, after going direct with my R1T purchase through Rivian, and essentially buying my truck, insuring it, and trading in my old truck (all online) there is a LOT to be said for that model!!!

At the end of the day, and using this model, everything is seamless and transparent, and it is less overhead and cost for the business. This is the future of buying in my opinion.
 
Where do you get your Rivian warranty performed if they have no physical dealerships? Okay they must have some type of facilities within 4-5 hours of each purchaser and unless you accepted delivery with road grime from transport, someone has to detail and do final prep including, in my state, initial annual vehicle inspection.

Yeah, no new car dealer pulls 2 opposite wheels to check brake thickness on a brand new vehicle but they probably should, along with lowering tire pressure from transport spec to driving spec. (Broncos arrive with 50 psi and need to be 35 +/- at delivery)

Go ahead and eliminate the sales department of a dealership but keep finance (no regular bank will ever offer 0% for 60 months with 0 down as occasionally arises) and service.

Bigger question is not so much loss of dealerships, that began in 2008 with mandates to eliminate locations serving small town America, but which of the EV companies will still be around (or ever got off the ground) after 2030.
 
In my view, this is no different than Nike selling its sneakers directly through the Nike app, and Nikeslowly moving away from a wholesale / middle man model to a direct model. These type of direct to consumer models benefitted incredibly from COVID, but it was merely an acceleration of what was already in-flight. Buy online pick up in store (BOPIS), curbside pick-up, in app payments, mobile payments, digital commerce, drive through service... These were all things before COVID, but the pandemic made them all more seamless, faster, easier and more transparent. I guess if you are the type of person that wants to negotiate for days on end to win a battle with a salesperson over delivery fees, commissions, destination fees and MSRP, then this model may not be the best!

Rivian DOES have service centers (service has been great at the Boston service location), and they do offer one of the best warranties in the business. In addition, they have mobile service techs (they arrive in electric service vans) for certain repairs or to resolve some customer issues remotely. I had a latch issue fized by a Vermont-based service tech once. I really don't see this model changing. Buying my truck, and following an 8-step process in a mobile app was way easier than any experience I have ever had at any dealership.
 
In my view, this is no different than Nike selling its sneakers directly through the Nike app, and Nikeslowly moving away from a wholesale / middle man model to a direct model. These type of direct to consumer models benefitted incredibly from COVID, but it was merely an acceleration of what was already in-flight. Buy online pick up in store (BOPIS), curbside pick-up, in app payments, mobile payments, digital commerce, drive through service... These were all things before COVID, but the pandemic made them all more seamless, faster, easier and more transparent. I guess if you are the type of person that wants to negotiate for days on end to win a battle with a salesperson over delivery fees, commissions, destination fees and MSRP, then this model may not be the best!

Rivian DOES have service centers (service has been great at the Boston service location), and they do offer one of the best warranties in the business. In addition, they have mobile service techs (they arrive in electric service vans) for certain repairs or to resolve some customer issues remotely. I had a latch issue fized by a Vermont-based service tech once. I really don't see this model changing. Buying my truck, and following an 8-step process in a mobile app was way easier than any experience I have ever had at any dealership.
My only question, as a driving enthusiast is how do you manage test drives and also the ins and outs of vehicle at delivery. I can see having an ICE model dropped at your door but the idea of a technical walk through troubles me-especially for new to EV buyers.
My delivery experience at BMW in SC was fantastic in that they had my car in a special bay (mine was actually the lobby space which was even cooler because everyone got to see it during the event. That said they set up everything and went step by step even setting up my phone and radio presets. I realize that most of that is second nature but the “concierge “ approach made me feel special but at the same time helped me to better understand the vehicle. Especially before an 11 hour road trip home to PA. Curbside delivery is great but does it arrive with a tech to walk through things like charging, optimization, etc…. I’m new to EV so while I don’t think a salesperson is that much more educated on the technical it helps to have someone walk through because I’m a visual learner (internet and brochures are less desirable for me personally). I hate and love the haggle process-I tend to be an antagonist so generally speaking I’ll walk out and my wife is in finance so she can run numbers faster than the sales guys so that gets them ruffled too. That said, my last 3 cars there was no negotiation because of my dealership relationship but I know that isn’t very common for most buyers.
So-NO dealership is great but delivery education should be considered.
If not a delivery experience at SM can Jamie deliver mine in person and walk me through it? That would be perfect!
 
I share the feeling "new car dealerships are terrible" that is oft stated in this thread. But there are exceptions. I live in a rural location 25 miles east of a major city and 20-30 miles west of a string of larger towns (big enough to support a Walmart). There are roughly 3-4 dozen dealers within the 40 mile circle. In 45 years of living here I have identified three who do not fit that mold; incidentally all are privately owned, not part of dealership empires. The GMC and a Toyota both refuse to participate in the dealer sales manager games and upselling on service. I haven't dealt vehicles with the Ford dealer, but they are beloved in town; I note they always had had a selection of Broncos when they were scarce elsewhere and that they process a lot of bigger pickups and specialty trucks through their lot. I'm thinking that suggests people who use their vehicle in their work buy them from straight-shooting dealers. I have often wished that my Toyota dealer would take on a Scout "franchise" in whatever form SM decides is appropriate -- unfortunately the direct competition of their revived Land Cruiser probably nixes any such deal. Could SM seek out the ethical dealers? It's a small pool and conflict of interest makes it even smaller; probably not worth the effort. But how about working through VW's own truck division Traton SE and its brands Scania, MAN, Navistar, and Volkswagen Truck & Bus. That should get us no-nonsense dealers who are focused highly on maintenance and service; plus I'd guess their mechanics are ahead on the curve of training for EV.
 
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Imploding Fisker tried to go down the rabbit hole with an affiliate / franchise type model - not going so well there. I would not want to see that, and since VW is already invested, I don't see that happening. I could see VW using SM as a testbed for future changes to their own dealer and service center modeling to prepare for the future... But who knows.

As far as delivery experience went, you could opt for a full "tour" and training on the vehicle at delivery or have them just drop and go. I already had done so much research before buying that the longest part of my "onboarding" was pairing my Rivian app to the truck, setting up my preferences, then adjusting the seat and steering wheel. After that, I was off and running. My delivery guys went with me for a 1st drive, then I was ready to send them off in their flat-bed with my traded-in Silverado. On-boarding could not have been easier for my first EV...

Now that the service center network has been established and they are past the initial launch, Rivian is doing test drives AND deliveries at their SC's. Not sure if they still do home deliveries or not.
 
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I’m glad to see this is a lively conversation since I’ve been on vacation! I know Jamie and Chris are taking notes. I tell my customers all the time that Kubota and Hitachi make great products and they don’t have a lot of problems. But, if mankind made it, it can break. My Tesla service experiences that could be done on site were great! The experiences that could not were terrible…and no loaner or rental credit. I’m not advocating for Auto Nation to be the new SM dealer network. But, somewhere reasonably close to the customer to get things done if needed is a good thing.
 
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And if you Kubota breaks it is far easier to work on and separate into parts than a Landini or a green Yanmar. I worked on them all.

The local Maserati dealer is an hour and a half away but they bring a loaner when they pick up your vehicle for service. Their shop rate and parts cost is high enough to cover.

SM will not have the luxury (at least I hope not) of providing Maserati level service due to anticipated price point and not every VW dealer will take on Scout if that is even an option. But Scouts will break or have hidden glitches at delivery. And SM will need to address warranty issues faster than we can recharge our Scout.

An example of things that happen the VW way. If , I forget what year range, VW had not run the wiring harness under the driver floor mat they would never have had a bunch of Tiguans just died and unable to start. Who runs wires under your feet?