Originally Posted by radar
It is. I personally feel (and this is just an opinion based on nothing) that manufacturers like GM, Ford Toyota etc will start to gravitate to the Tesla on line sales model. And for one reason. Dealerships make lots of money off of the service and parts departments. It is going to be hard to convince dealers to sell vehicles that need little maintenance and have a less parts than a conventional ICE vehicle. Companies like Nissan tried to make artificial maintenance schedules like mandatory annual 85 dollar battery checks and brake checks at half the normal timespan for the Leaf but all it did was push people to Tesla that has almost no rigid maintenance schedule. We have been driving EV's for going on 6 years and the only maintenance we have done was add washer fluid. (Well, there was a recall on the leaf for a mounting plate ground or something) Having said that both our previous EV's were coming due for a new 12 volt battery...which I probably would have changed myself if we had kept them. I wouldn't be surprised to see EV manufacturers get rid of the 12 volt battery someday. Who knows.
It will be interesting to watch.
I don't know where you got the notion that dealerships made lots of money off the parts and service departments. Most times, they end up a net loss.
Service departments are a necessary evil for selling the vehicles. Most dealer principles would gladly dump them if they could. Special tooling is mandatory, even when 60% of the stuff barely or never gets touched. Each new platform brings a ton of new tooling. Software,laptops etc. are now all consumables and get forced upgrades every 1 to 4 years on average.
Parts are the same. Lots of $$$ sitting on shelves, lots of room taken up and lots of time inventorying stuff, never mind the stuff that tends to grow legs and disappear. The tooling also tends to disappear.
A dealer service dept. brings WAY less $ per square foot than the showroom, and even that is getting displaced by online presence now.