Dealer Solutions Mergers and Acquisitions (DSMA) is buoyant about its partnership with Canadian-based Vicinity Motor Corporation (VMC) to retail its medium-size electric truck to dealers in North America.
DSMA President/Founder Farid Ahmad told Canadian auto dealer the arrangement began in January when he was contacted through a third party. VMC, which is based in B.C., is Canada’s leading electric truck manufacturer. It was founded in 2008 and is led by William Trainer, President and CEO.
“I really loved them, loved their technology, loved their vehicle and we proposed the first of its kind relationship between an M&A firm and a manufacturer to help set up a distribution network across North America,” said Ahmad. “It’s never been done before, and the reason we did this is they were debating whether or not to go the Tesla model and sell direct or create a dealer model. After our meeting it was felt the dealer model is much more sustainable.”
VMC unveiled its Class 3 1200 truck in 2021 and began retailing it late in 2022 in B.C. through Pioneer Auto Group. The truck has a gross vehicle weight rating of 4,990 kilograms, a load capacity of 2,734 kilograms and a range of 241 kilometres.
VMC is looking to find dealers to broaden distribution of the truck in Canada and subsequently in the U.S. within the next two years.
“We’re a Canadian company and we’re building out in Canada,” said Brent Phillips, VMC’s Senior Director of Sales. “We’re going to be selecting dealer candidates that are going to be a partner with us because we’re still in the front-end of the technology. It’s going to be absolutely imperative we bring solutions to the table to the customers.”
VCM turned to DSMA because of its expanding business buying and selling dealerships in North America. DSMA has sold more than 400 dealerships, and Ahmad said it is on pace this year to set a company record for revenues. Last year it rose 118 percent from 2021, and so far it is tracking 127 percent above the 2022 numbers.
“Our company offers a wide variety of services to the automotive industry, and this is another vertical that ties in very well,” said Ahmad. “We’ve got the skill set in our firm to be able to be able to provide this level of service, which is very unique. Our commitment to VMC was that we will find them the best-in-class retailers that VMC could sustain a great sales rate, promote the vehicle ethically and that they are advanced in technology.”
Ahmad also said the plan is to find partners with experience in the commercial fleet industry.
“The dealers we are selecting are the ones that can prove to VMC that they have the financial liquidity and their track record is such that VMC would attach its name to that business,” said Ahmad.
Ahmad added the partnership with VCM is another example of the 12-year-old company’s growth.
“I aways knew that if we added the right team members with a diverse background, anything would be possible,” said Ahmad. “In the back of my mind I knew that this would one day be an avenue that would really benefit a manufacturer.”
Rick Kingdon, DSMA’s Director of Distributors’ Contract Acquisitions, said there is a strong appetite among dealers to be associated with VMC and its electric truck expertise.
“Dealers being entrepreneurs want to get into this side and to be leading edge and innovative and sometimes the electric manufacturers are going to the online model versus this,” said Kingdon at a three-day DSMA/VMC event in Vaughan that introduced the vehicles to potential dealer partners.
Kingdon said the plan is align with 10-12 dealer locations in major metropolises for which the 1200 trucks are best suited.