I know it’s early in the day, but GM’s spinmeistery has ascended to new heights. When contemplating the failure that is GM’s California eBay experiment, GM’s vice president of US sales displayed a Glengarry Glen Ross-like inability to face the music. The facts: despite Automotive News‘ [sub] not-entirely-accurate assertion that the GM-eBay hook-up “lets consumers in California buy a new GM vehicle on the eBay Motors Web site” (every US state requires consumers to buy new cars through a dealer), the program has converted only 50 out of 16,000 listings. In total.
“Automotive News looked at the results of 3,000 GM vehicles with seven-day eBay auctions that ended today, Sept. 1, and none was listed as sold.” Failure? What failure?
A GM statement said the program is boosting awareness of GM vehicles. GM says about 4,000 eBay shoppers entered into negotiations — either online, over the phone or in person — to buy a vehicle. The statement does not say how many sales resulted from the negotiations.
How about that? The nationalized automaker whose CEO swore to the Senate that New GM would be transparent (i.e., accountable) to US taxpayers won’t disclose its conversion rate. And now, LaNeve . . .
‘We are very pleased with the progress of the initial promotion and its ability to raise awareness and consideration for our outstanding new-vehicle inventory,’ Mark LaNeve, GM vice president of U.S. sales, said in the statement.
During a conference call with reporters today, LaNeve said: ‘The numbers on eBay itself aren’t significant, but we didn’t think it would be.’ He added: ‘The dealers want to continue it, and so we are working on making some tweaks to it and continue.’
Now that’s what I call management! FYI: The program began August 11. It was scheduled to end September 8. It will now run through September. Or longer.