Honda is betting that shrinking inventory, thanks to online orders and electric vehicles, will mean the end of mega-dealerships.
“Honda plans to redesign dealerships into modern retail spaces that are basically terminals along the way to EV ownership, not destinations,” Jose Rodriguez Jr. reports for Jalopnik. “The smaller dealerships Honda envisions would be where buyers pick up their new EV after completing the purchase online, or where EV owners go for infrequent service.”
The move comes after electric vehicle manufacturers like Tesla and Rivian have shown that companies do not need big lots to sell cars. Their success with online sales direct to buyers has already prompted major carmakers like Ford and Volvo to follow suit, selling certain new EVs direct via the internet.
Online car buying was up 25 percent in 2021, Wired reports, thanks largely to the pandemic. That was good for 9 percent of all online sales.
Still, it will be a while before we see major changes at Honda dealerships.
“Since we’re still in the early days of digitalization, Honda’s proposed redesigns for those sprawling dealerships are only suggestions for now,” according to Rodriguez. “None of its dealers will be forced to adopt any changes. Not just yet.”
Honda Safety Concerns
As Honda reimagines the future of car selling, the company is still having problems ensuring that its vehicles are safe to drive today.
For example, federal regulators are currently looking into a slew of Honda owner complaints about malfunctioning automatic braking systems in some 1.7 million CR-V sport utility vehicles and Accord sedans.
Late last year, for example, the company recalled roughly 725,000 pickups and sport utility vehicles over a defect that Honda said could cause the vehicles’ hoods to fly open unexpectedly. The company acknowledged at the time that the defect increased the risk of an accident.
Honda is not alone. Major car manufacturers recall millions of vehicles every year for a wide range of defects that put people’s safety at risk.
Legal Rights for California Honda Owners
Fortunately, Honda and other car owners in California do not have to wait for a recall to get defective vehicles fixed.
The California lemon law requires carmakers to perform various repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. It also forces the companies to buy back vehicles that they are unable or simply unwilling to properly fix. That includes compensating the owner for the purchase price, financing fees and other related expenses, like rental car costs.
There is no specific number of repair requests or attempts that must be made before the buyback requirement kicks in. An experienced California lemon law attorney can help you understand your rights and options.
Speak with a Los Angeles Lemon Law Attorney Today
If you are stuck with a lemon or locked in a dispute with a car manufacturer over repairs, the Los Angeles lemon law attorneys at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help.
Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a Los Angeles lemon law attorney.