General Motors announced on Tuesday plans to open its first BrightDrop dealership. BrightDrop is the company’s new brand focused on electric delivery vans and other logistics equipment.
The first BrightDrop store will be located in Fontana, California. Unsurprisingly, it will be operated by an existing GM dealership franchisee, Mike Caposio. Caposio owns Chevrolet and Buick/GMC stores in California. In fact, he owns the highest-volume Chevrolet store in the state. GM says the new store will be called BrightDrop of Greater Los Angeles.
While this first store is with an existing GM franchisee, GM cautions that not all BrightDrop dealerships will be part of the existing GM family. The company aims to have franchisees that are familiar with the commercial market in particular, though they have declined to offer specifics in what they are looking for. BrightDrop intends to have a small dealership network across the U.S.
GM just announced the BrightDrop brand back in January. At the time they announced the EV600 model and the EP1 electric pallet system. Back in September GM confirmed the first few EV600 vans have been built at its factory in Ontario, Canada. The first vans were supposed to be delivered to FedEx before the holiday system.
BrightDrop says its volumes will remain low until November 2022, which is when EV600 production will be fully ramped. In 2023, production of the smaller EV410 will commence at the same Canadian assembly plant.
GM clearly sees a big opportunity in this space, but they aren’t alone. Electrified versions of the Ford Transit commercial van are already rolling off Ford’s assembly line. Meanwhile, Amazon-backed Rivian already has some EV vans in testing with Amazon. BrightDrop is ramping quickly, but the competition isn’t sitting still either.