Tesla has done well so far with its direct-to-consumer sales model, and it appears that it is inspiring other car makers to choose the same sales model — for their electric cars at least. Audi, which plans for EVs to contribute 25% of its overall sales, could follow Tesla’s sales model, says a report from Autoblog.
Dealerships may not be able to sell EVs
A couple of weeks ago at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Audi laid a lot of emphasis on EVs, including on how it could make EVs contribute significantly to total sales. Until now, no automaker has been successful at figuring out how they can raise plug-in vehicle sales to a double-digit percentage.
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According to The New York Times, the problem could be that the traditional dealerships do not know how EVs should be sold. Though Audi did not share any plans of opening up its own EV stores like Tesla, two Audi of America executives did give some indications about adopting a different sales style to encourage EV sales.
Tesla – a trendsetter in EV sales
AOA’s director of product management, Filip Brabec, said that Audi is one automaker that at least plans to make changes that will probably include some sort of different dealership experience and a new kind of test drive as well. Brabec said the traditional automotive approach may not work with EVs, and a major reason for this is the “complexity of the product and the complexity of the offer,” and that it will be hard “to bring that into a classical dealership and sort of treat is [sic] as another car and off we go.”
AOA president Scott Keogh believes that Tesla has set a good example for other automakers in the industry regarding how selling EVs could be made a complete experience. Keogh said Tesla should be given the credit in areas in which it is deserved.
“I think the charging network, at least from a public relations point of view, is quite strong and that’s definitely added to the message.”
It has been heard several times that a lot of automakers want to have that “Tesla fighter,” but Keogh is confident that Audi will do a better job than what Tesla is doing presently. Keogh appreciated the fact that Audi has done a good job of looking at the “full package,” adding that the company has resources and the network and other things required to “put a fuller package together.”