With its new Ariya electric crossover cruising toward American shores, Nissan Motor Co. has unveiled a program to smoothen EV adoption and prime the sales pump.
EV Carefree+ will offer Ariya buyers a battery warranty and a year of complimentary access to the EVgo public fast-charging network. Also included: 3 years/36,000 miles of scheduledmaintenance, which covers tire rotations and air filter and fluid replacements.
The service freebie could give EV customers more confidence and help address a major dealer pain point.
Low-maintenance electric vehicles are a drag on the dealership’s profit engine — the fixed ops department.
In past years, service revenues from Nissan’s electric Leaf hatchback have been half that of the brand’s combustion engine vehicles, said Nissan National Dealer Advisory Board Chairman Tyler Slade.
The negative effect of EVs on dealer fixed ops business will be compounded over the next few years as Nissan prepares to introduce several high-volume electric sedans and crossovers. By 2030, the Japanese automaker expects EVs to account for 40 percent of its U.S. sales.
“The EV business is a significant concern for the franchised dealer’s service and parts business going forward,” Slade told Automotive News.
EV Carefree+ could soften the impact of EVs on retailers’ bottom line by boosting customer retention rates and creating new revenue-making opportunities.
Aditya Jairaj, Nissan North America senior director of EV strategy and transformation, said the complimentary service will reassure owners their EV is well maintained while creating “customer touch points” for dealers.
It keeps the customer in the dealer franchise system and improves satisfaction and loyalty rates, Jairaj said.
While battery-powered vehicles might require less service than combustion engine vehicles, EV owners are more likely to stick to manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedules, a CDK Global study showed.
“There’s a little bit of concern [because] it’s a new technology,” Peter Kahn, CDK Global senior director of research and insights, said during a Fixed Ops Journal Forum session in October. EV owners “want to make sure that everything is in tip-top shape when it comes to the powerplant itself.”