GM Discounts, Incentives, Confusion (Pt. 2)
If you had trouble figuring out GM's special offers, rebates, financing deals and incentives in the last post, fear not. It gets worse. Here's an email from a GM dealer. He calls the process "Figure It Out Before It's Over. "Fine print: good only in north central region, except Michigan, unless you live in the following counties… Loyalty programs available, but must have direct mail piece. So you ask the client if he's got one. If yes, where is it? If no, customer is pissed. Extra discount on interest rate for customer if dealer floorplans with GMAC. Extra rebate if old invoiced unit. Different amount depending on date of invoice. Tiered dealer cash by level of achievement toward objective. Different residuals if reg cab, ex cab, 2wd, 4wd, leather, cloth, 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, manual vs. auto, V6 vs. V8. Riddle me this Batman: What incentive do you get on a GM car? Answer: it really doesn't matter because when you finally figure it out, it's changed anyway."
Why dont' they all just stop the gimmicks and ask a reasonable price to start with? I wonder if Iacocca had any idea what he was starting when he came up with his "buy a car, get a check" $50 rebate offer in the 80s.
Like it matters. Do you think those incentives are passed to the customer? I doubt it. The greedy dealers will attempt to gouge you the same regardless of the actual cost of goods sold.
Incentives can get so confusing they are self-defeating. Potential buyers become even more suspicious that there's a shell game going on, and car dealerships are already seen as dishonest hucksters. And right after buying a vehicle, yet another round of incentives is revealed which leaves the customer feeling he bought too soon. So a good buying strategy is to (a) wait for Detroit to make huge price cuts, and/or (b) pay more for a Camcordima that will return a bigger percentage of cost on disposal. A hotel manager once told me he wouldn't cut the room's rate below a certain level, even if it meant turning away a would-be guest, because it eventually would hurt the hotel's reputation. The difference between that hotel and the 2.8 is that the hotel had a reputation to protect.
Sounds no different that trying to decided what mobile phone/home phone/internet access plan to get. Confusing as hell, even within the offerings of one vendor.