Tuesday, April 20, 2021

How California dealers are responding to Volvo’s online sales plan – Brian Maas, CNCDA

California is a large market for Volvo here in the U.S. which is why many dealers in the state are up in arms about their latest plans to move EV sales online. Today on CBT News, we’re pleased to welcome Brian Maas, President of the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) to take a closer look at dealer sentiment in California and why they say this proposal would be in violation of state laws. 

Maas begins by providing a background on the Volvo Cares program and how it violated the franchise laws in California. Maas says the CNCDA challenged Volvo Cares and won, leading the automaker to discontinue the program in the state. Following the recent announcement from Volvo of its intention to sell EVs online, Maas says dealers in the state felt like they were going to have to undergo the same process all over again.

The CNCDA wrote a letter to Volvo, expressing its concern about its plans to sell online. Maas says the association has yet to receive a formal response from the company. Texas and Virginia have sent similar messages as well. 

Maas then talks about why Volvo is pushing to sell directly to consumers. The company makes a large portion of its revenue in the European market where the dealer network is much less independent than it is in the U.S. Volvo is very good at building publicity, though it sometimes overlooks small details.

Maas concludes the conversation by looking ahead to future implications of the dispute with Volvo. He says that CNCDA and other associations are waiting to hear Volvo’s response to the matter before pursuing any legal actions. Maas says there is a difference between proclamation and practice. While Volvo has proclaimed big plans, nothing has been put into practice that would threaten franchise dealers.


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