The President of Roy Foss Automotive Group looks at the company’s relationship as the only Canadian BrightDrop authorized dealership to date as a long-term play without concerning itself about General Motors’ plans to temporarily put the brakes on the production of its electric vehicle vans.
James Ricci told Canadian auto dealer the company has sold about 100 units since it was selected in February by BrightDrop to be its first Canadian dealership to sell, service, and provide parts.
“We’re just in the infancy stages of what BrightDrop has in terms of potential to be able to serve this segment of the fleet and commercial market,” said Ricci. “That’s really the focus for this. Ultimately, these vehicles are hand-tailored to that use case of last-mile delivery and logistics.”
He said he cannot comment directly on why the production itself has halted, “but long-term having them made in Ontario and (when considering) the sales projections we have, we’re very bullish about the future and the promise of what BrightDrop means for EVs, for our dealer group, and really for the end customers and a more sustainable fleet.”
BrightDrop announced in February that Roy Foss Automotive Group was selected as the first retailer in Canada for its vans. Some time by the end of the year announcements are expected to be made, on which dealership groups in Vancouver and Montréal will be the next ones to sell and service BrightDrop products.
Ricci said the company wanted to wait until the fall to do an official launch at its Woodbridge location with BrightDrop’s Zevo 600 and 400 vans on display for commercial clients, prospects, partners, and people interested in learning more about the products and their technology. The launch happened last week.
“We’re projecting our annual delivery should be and could be in the thousands, especially because the cost of the technology comes in line with gas prices going up and the continued demand for more sustainable options in vehicle fleets,” said Ricci. “We already feel the demand right now.
“It’s been a slow-scale controlled launch, about half of them have been to FedEx and these vehicles are on the road. This is really the launch phase, just a fraction of what we’re hoping,” added Ricci. “We worked with the BrightDrop team to make sure we could have both vehicles on site and we build up a pipeline of clients, both with BrightDrop Canada and the Greater Toronto Area.”
The open house occurred the same week GM announced plans to halt production of BrightDrop’s products at the CAMI Assembly Plant in Ingersoll from October through to the spring of 2024, because of delays in the Ultium battery modules that power the vans.