Other Editorials

New Dog, Old Tricks

Jim Dollinger
Thursday, July 16, 2009

Today GM marketing announced another $1,000 rebate on old invoice units. To check eligibility the dealer enters the VIN into a website. A dealer who has properly managed his inventory will not have any units in stock that qualify, and is thereby less competitive and penalized. Dealer trades become difficult at best and the customer is confused when told that the car they want is more than the identical car sitting next to it that they don't want.

This same old confusing crap from the incompetent Mark LaNeve and his marketing minions is simply more of the ignorant, desparate, distressed, brand damaging merchandising that drove us into bankruptcy court. As Fritz makes his moves to trim and improve the executive ranks, he should immediately focus on the bogus and clean house at VSSM.

Perhaps a bit more explanation is in order; this old invoice is only a single piece of an impossible puzzle. There are rates vs. rebates depending on model/body style/trim or alternative rates with lessened rebates. One day you can get a GM discount from a salary employee friend, next it's supplier price. Belong to Farm Bureau, member of military? How about Cattleman's Association? Own a GM vehicle 99 or newer? Got a Nissan, here's $1500. Has your dealer used his inventory allotment bonus coupons? They're worth $250 and he can stack up to 8 on a single deal. How about retiree voucher? Goodwill Certificate? Customer Appreciation Certificate? Credit union member? Here's $500. Have a credit union that will do an Enclave lease? Here's $5,250 (can't use w/ GM discount), CTS credit union lease? Here's $6,000. (can use w/ GM discount) How about the regular dealer bonus cash? How about the GM Hourly Employee Special Attrition Voucher (not the same as retiree voucher)?

Let's take a break and see which of these can be combined with which? which can be transferred to members of household and which can't? What rates can the dealers bump and which can't they? Which GM card works with which incentive?

Let's look at the vehicle to verify which wheel/seat/mirror combo it has so we can reference the spreadsheet and see what additional credit is allowed.

Okay back to the showroom for more...how about merchandising assistance allowances? Okay, I'm getting tired of typing. If you are still with me and haven't seen your slide rule fail and can access a Rand McNally Road Atlas, we can address residency restrictions. Please don't move across the street during negotiations if it happens to be a different county. Get your computer upgraded to more capacity, invest in an abbacus, borrow a sundial and hold on tight so we can continue...

On the other hand, it's getting late in the day and it will all change tomorrow so screw it, let's call it a night and start over when the new sheets arrive in the morning.

update 7-17...

Well, we called it...new incentive sheets this morning, and already they are being corrected because GM's own website verification software is wrong.

Check out this email from GM to dealers...what a joke they have become...

"Please be advised that the new Employee Bonus Cash was NOT intended to be compatible with the outboarded APR's. We are now in the process of getting this corrected to make it not compatible with outboarded APR. Please advise that currently VIN Lookup shows that the two are compatible, however they are in fact not. A formal communication is forthcoming, but wanted to pass this along as I've already had a few inquiries."

Imagine you called a customer when the sheets came out, by the time they arrived at the store you had to explain that the deal wasn't available.

Tired of being badgered?