Anyone else find themselves casually perusing General Motors' third-quarter sales numbers? No? Well if you were flipping through them at the breakfast table, you would've seen a funny two-digit number next to the Blazer EV: 19. That's how many GM made in Q3. Production has picked up for sure, but with still limited supply, dealers are trying to get a bigger slice of the pie through widespread markups.
These aren't quite the absurd tacked-on "market adjustments" we've observed with hot new enthusiast cars. Blazer EVs aren't getting priced to the moon like electric Hummers, Nissan Z Nismos, or GR Corollas. The increases are still significant and widespread, though. Dealers across the country are typically marking Blazer EVs up by around $5,000, but sometimes as high as $10,000.
Considering that it looks like GM is only currently building the more expensive RS trim, this is bad news. Cheaper 1LT and 2LT cars are seemingly nowhere to be found, which means pretty much any Blazer EV you can get is likely to cost as much as a lower-spec Cadillac Lyriq. At least a lot of Chevy dealers don't also have a Cadillac store attached to them. Oh, wait.
This, plus a few other factors, are brewing into a storm for GM. Among with other automakers, the Detroit car company is beginning to assess that demand for electric vehicles is not as high as it initially thought it was, at least as far as pickup trucks go. It has likewise struggled to launch most of its new EVs, even without any help from the UAW's ongoing strike, which could throw an even bigger wrench into the supply crunch at any moment.
The bottom line is something of a mess. GM has the capacity to make tens of thousands of Ultium-based EVs, but it can't right now for a variety of reasons. Because of the short supply, dealers are marking them up, which could sour consumers. Once the company can finally tool up to distribute enough EVs to its dealers, it's likely going to face reduced demand. Seems bad.
The company hasn't even gotten its new cheap EVs to market yet, either. The current Bolt is going away with a new generation still floating around somewhere on the horizon. If the Equinox EV still launches at its claimed base price of around $30,000, it will be a miracle. EVs built with current technology, like what GM is pitching to buyers, need low prices to counteract every possible sticking point the average customer might have with going electric. The charging infrastructure could be bad, the plug on most EVs might very well be old technology in a few years, and cold weather performance could be pretty dismal. But if the future Bolt costs $25,000, well, it may just have a shot in the face of all that.
Unfortunately, between dealers' bad habits and GM's own production hurdles, pricing for accessibility may be out of reach for now.
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