Electric Vehicle Consumer AdoptionHow the Electrified Dealer Program Boosts EV Sales
November 4th, 2021
Ricart Automotive Group has always been at the forefront of change in the automotive industry. We built our brand’s reputation on innovative marketing ideas in the 1980s and 1990s and secured our spot as a top dealer in the United States.
Ricart Automotive Group was certified as an Electrified Dealer by Smart Columbus, ensuring that our sales team would be prepared to serve and educate customers who are interested in electric vehicles (EVs). We also made sure that EV chargers are onsite for customers to practice with and use, and that we could support increased interest in EVs by beefing up our EV inventory.
As we look into the future of mobility and transportation, we realize that we must continue to be on the forefront of change, as EV adoption is projected to increase sharply in years to come.
Investing in Multi-Modal Future
Now, we are looking into new, innovative business practices: multi-modal transportation options. I believe in the vision of an omni-channel transportation system. Multimodal transportation will give consumers options—they will most likely be able to choose their type of transportation depending on the journey, the reason, the weather, and so many more factors.
We’re very excited for the future and we don’t have to look too far. In the next two to three years we will see fleets of vehicles, company vehicles, subscription vehicles, rental vehicles, rideshare vehicles and more.
Ricart Automotive Group recently invested in a 110,000 sq.ft. warehouse to expand our fleet and commercial vehicle sales and service division. The new building, which is slated to open in 2020, will have electric vehicle charging stations. This is in addition to the 12 EV charging stations already on-site at the Ricart Megamall, located in southeast Columbus.
Fleets of companies owning cars, both internal combustion engines (ICEs) and EVs, are already a big part of our transportation and business plan. As more people continue moving back to urban areas and facing challenging commutes, many companies will need to continue to look at offering transportation to employees.
To prepare for these changes, Ricart has invested a significant portion of our training dollars into ensuring our technicians are ready. Technicians are currently going through manufacturer-required training for EVs for all seven of our new vehicle brands, including Ford, Genesis, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Nissan.
EVs in Ford’s Pipeline
You don’t have to look like a Toyota Prius to be aerodynamic anymore. Manufacturers are more keenly aware of customer needs and are transforming and perfecting EV models based on the feedback from dealers and customers. One of the main factors is the look of the vehicle - including its aerodynamics.
I’m personally very excited to see in the next 18 months Ford’s battery electric performance-themed crossover. Ford’s Project 727 will be a 4-door crossover with mixes of the Ford Mustang and an SUV. This specific model is anticipated to fit the needs of a wide array of Ford’s customers who are looking to drive an EV while still maintaining speed and space.
We know there are some new model EVs coming, and we’ll start to see the first few adaptations of our current models. Vehicles that are traditionally known to be ICE vehicles will have options for battery plug-ins and electric systems that will perform better.
In addition to all of the preparation on the automotive side, Ricart recently acquired the three A.D. Farrow Harley-Davidson stores in Columbus which will offer even more transportation options for their customers. It’s exciting now that we’ve broken into the two-wheel urban mobility sector with scooters, motorcycles, and battery powered bicycles.
In the next seven years, Harley-Davidson has 52 fully-electric models coming out ranging from children’s bicycles, scooters all the way to full-size motorcycles. In Spring 2020, the new full-sized LiveWire is expected to drop in stores.
What we have in front of us right now is more opportunity. From a dealership standpoint, and from the partnership with Smart Columbus, we know multi-modal is going to be here sooner than we think, and we’re excited about it!
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