GM Offers a Buyout to Buick Dealers That Don’t Want to Invest Toward Selling Electric Cars

The move mirrors an earlier offer to Cadillac retailers in 2020

(Images: Buick)
  • General Motors extended an offer to Buick dealers that don’t want to transition toward selling electric cars.
    • Buick aims to complete its transformation to an all-EV brand domestically by 2030.
  • All of Buick’s nearly 2,000 dealers will have the opportunity to take a check and exit the franchise.
  • The automaker made a similar move in 2020 with Cadillac dealers — and about 17% of franchisees took the deal.

Buick is outlining its buyout offer to franchise dealers Friday, as the latest effort to transition the brand toward EVs.

Global head of the Buick brand Duncan Aldred confirmed the proposal to The Wall Street Journal, saying that nearly 2,000 U.S. dealers will be eligible to exit the franchise. Those businesses will soon see a check, should they not wish to join in the brand’s move toward a fully electric portfolio.

The move comes as GM works through its $30 billion investment over the next three years to revamp its vehicle lineups and dealer networks to sell up to 30 new electric models.

Buick Electra concept

“Not everyone necessarily wants to make that journey,” Aldred told the WSJ. “So, if they want to exit the Buick franchise, then we will give them monetary assistance to do so.” Depending on the size and location of the dealer, they may wish to take the money now rather than shoulder the expenditure of stocking electric vehicles.

General Motors offered a similar deal to Cadillac in late 2020. Ultimately, about 150 of 880 retailers in the U.S. (17%) took that deal. According to earlier reports, those buyouts ranged between $300,000 and $1 million. The automaker said at the time that upgrading dealerships to sell EVs would cost at least a $200,000 investment.

While GM spokespeople confirmed the deal to Buick dealers on Friday, it did not mention how much those businesses would see this time around.

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