Executive View: Why ICE is the solution to boosting EV sales.

Fraser Brown of MotorVise argues that the ICE remains the best way of boosting EV sales.

As the automotive industry hurtles toward an electrified future, manufacturers and dealerships find themselves at a crossroads.

The growing interest around electric vehicles (EVs) is undeniable as both used and new prices continue to fall, and ranges improve.

But is the industry allocating their resources wisely, asks Fraser Brown of automotive consultancy MotorVise.

Most original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are caught in a digital frenzy, targeting a fraction of EV customers that only result in a flurry of wasted inquiries.

EV searches make up just under 16% of total vehicle searches on Google in the UK – yet disproportionately large sums are spent pursuing what is a niche group.

Research undertaken by MotorVise highlights a stark reality: Franchised dealers are  converting just 1 in 11 EV inquiries into a sale, compared with 1 in 4.5 for internal combustion engine (ICE) inquiries. Clearly the current approach isn’t delivering optimal results.

The solution lies in retraining salespeople so that the EV conversation is placed at the heart of the sales process, a process that can enable an EV-trained salesperson to convert 1 in 6 ICE enquiries into an EV sale.

Currently the automotive trade is squandering vast sums to attract EV inquiries to dealerships that are ill-equipped to handle them.

Product training alone won’t cut it. Instead, why not focus on in-dealer training and toolkits. Empower dealers to achieve their EV mix targets without haemorrhaging fortunes on acquiring prospects.

Instead, flip the script. Rather than pouring millions into EV inquiries, why not spotlight  ICE vehicles.

Choose a popular ICE model, pair it with a comparable-sized EV model, and invest heavily in marketing the ICE variant. Craft sensible monthly payment plans for the ICE, then position the EV as slightly more expensive but with compelling fuel savings.

Voilà, the monthly ownership cost becomes lower than that of the ICE vehicle after factoring in fuel savings.

In the race to electrification, let’s shift our focus inward. Invest in dealer networks, empower sales teams, and watch the conversion needle move. It’s time to drive success by rethinking our spend strategy—one confident EV conversation at a time.

The survey by MotorVise, which has launched its bespoke ‘Enhancing EV Mix Programme’, a training system designed to boost the EV retail sales mix to 20% and beyond, involved 75 salespeople across 60 UK dealerships.

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