Whenever automakers introduce some substantially new technology, the dealer network has to be trained to provide sales and service. Very often, this is mandatory before the dealer is allowed to sell any cars. Such is the case for Chevrolet dealers that want to handle the Volt when it goes on sale in December. Initial supplies of the Volt will be restricted to California, Michigan and Washington, D.C., as well as parts of Texas, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Since Chevrolet invited dealers to sign up for certification last month, about 600 dealers – about 90 percent of the outlets in the initial sale regions – have signed up. Certified dealers will have to install Level 2 charging stations for the Volts while sales staff will learn how the extended-range EV works so that they can explain it to customers. Service technicians will have to learn how to diagnose and repair the cars. Initially, if there are any battery-related problems, they will be replaced and the batteries will be sent back to the Brownstown plant to be checked. Eventually, dealers will be able to service the electronics and primary modules in-house.