Automotive Group President Roy Foss views the company’s relationship as BrightDrop’s only Canadian business to date as a long-term play without getting involved with General Motors’ plans to temporarily put the brakes on its electric van production.
James Ricci told Canadian car dealer the company has sold about 100 units since being selected in February by BrightDrop to be its first Canadian business to sell, service and provide parts.
“We are in the early stages of what BrightDrop has in terms of being able to serve this segment of the fleet and the commercial market,” Ricci said. “That’s the ultimate goal of this. Ultimately, these vehicles are hand-built for that last-mile transportation use case and logistics.
He said he couldn’t comment directly on why production itself has stopped, “but in the long run to make them in Ontario and (when considering) the sales projections we have, we’re very bullish about the future and what BrightDrop’s promise means for EVs, to our merchant group, and to end customers with a more sustainable fleet.
BrightDrop announced in February that Roy Foss Automotive Group was selected as the first Canadian dealer for its vehicles. Sometime by the end of the year announcements are expected to be made, where the business groups in Vancouver and Montréal will be the next to sell and service BrightDrop products.
Ricci said the company wanted to wait until spring to officially launch the BrightDrop Zevo 600 and 400 vehicles at its Woodbridge location for commercial customers, prospects, partners, and people interested in learning more about their products and technology. The launch took place last week.
“We estimate our annual emissions should be and could be in the thousands, especially because the cost of technology is coming in line with rising gas prices and the continued demand for more sustainable options in the vehicle fleet,” Ricci said. “We are already feeling the demand right now.
“It’s been a slow controlled launch, about half of them have been FedEx and these cars are on the road. This is really the launch phase, just part of what we expect,” added Ricci. “We worked with the BrightDrop team to ensure we could have both vehicles on site and build a pipeline of customers, both with BrightDrop Canada and the greater Toronto area.”
The open house was held the same week GM announced plans to end production of BrightDrop products at the CAMI Assembly Plant in Ingersoll from October until spring 2024, due to delays in the Ultium battery modules that power the vans.