Quote of the Day: GM's Mark LaNeve Planned for Failure Edition

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

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.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Logans_Run Logans_Run on Sep 02, 2009

    Ok so now a webpage hit has been redefined as "entering negotiations." In addition, every time you or I pass a GM product on the road or in the dealer lot it is "raising awareness" of the GM brand. Do we have to pay for that? A toll or something that we leave at the local GM dealer?This is all part of that "hope and change" thing going on in our country. Ok, I got it. Just let me know when the rules change again or when a term is redefined. Perhaps GM can Wiki the words so we can play along at home.

  • Kevin8721 Kevin8721 on Sep 05, 2009

    Well, I agree with you folks. GM eBay has been launched initially with 14,585+ listings for 7 days period, and by now total counts including re-listing is 45,000+. eBay successfully maintained listing count 10,000+ with a tool like Turbo Lister, when listing counts starts dropping by 2,500 to 3,000 every second day. Out of that 45,000+ listing not even 45 vehicles are sold successfully. More than 40% of buyers failed to get desired vehicle over eBay, If you look at the feedback profile at http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback2&userid=yourgmdealer&ftab=AllFeedback The total failure of GM eBay experiment or a venture is mainly due to not a single, but many reasons. 1) The buyers really do not seem happy buying over eBay. 40% of buyers failed to get desired GM vehicle over eBay. 2) As per Edmunds.com's analysts also estimated eBay's "buy it now" prices are on average 2% higher than average market price, about $500 on a $25,000 vehicle. http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS231664+20-Aug-2009+BW20090820 This do not leave any margin for buyers for further negotiations with Dealers. 3) eBay itself violated many of it's own policies for GM, eBay might be suspending sellers account if any other seller might have violated these policies. 4) The market reputation of eBay is nothing more than a junkie with all sort of dirty tricks to get maximum revenue in terms of eBay fees. Followings are various excerpts from other forum or blogs. By shark98 (This buyer complained total switch of vehicle) Neither GM or eBay listen to any customer complaints while buying online on GMeBay. I was such a stupid decided to buy GM(???????) Followings are the links for buyers feedback: http://i27.tinypic.com/11kjql5.jpg -or- http://www.ephotobay.com/image/gmebay-feedback-reviews.jpg By Web Arts Followings are the recent videos originally posted by B.Cobberwood in European Auto Blog (non-English). eBay = FeePay Funny videos http://www.ioffer.com/images/misc/feepay/feepay.swf No More eBay http://i31.tinypic.com/egzdyh.jpg GMeBay Story of Success Video http://tinypic.com/r/o89wf4/3 download links: http://www.ziddu.com/download/6291887/GMeBay_secret.flv.html http://www.ziddu.com/download/6291886/GMeBay_secret.avi.html http://www.yourfilelink.com/get.php?fid=507274 enjoy! Further more, in a recent news GM has announced dropping of GM logo from the vehicles. As fellow member Runfromcheney said "People are not going to just plunk down $30K over the Internet for a mysterious car that is only represented by a few PR photos. Even if it is directly from GM, people are still not going to trust it." I agree, coz buyers always look and feel while buying an expensive item. You simply can not trust fancy slide show over Internet. Any way GM with an experiment over eBay has already set a bench mark that other competitor would like to learn from or to follow! The untold many fold story is left to be completed by readers.

  • Bullnuke I quick scanned the title of this article and saw "Jeep is ranked the most pathetic brand..." and thought, "Yep, that's what it is these days.".
  • Jimbo1126 Can't believe I'm the first to comment that I find the 4 window sedans much more interesting than the 6 window ones.
  • ToolGuy I was making especially gentle stops on my drive home today... because my brake booster is failing.
  • Tane94 I thought Hyundai was phasing out the 1.6 turbo?
  • Wjtinfwb Jeep could build Wrangler's in Russia and they'd still be a symbol of America. Can't say I thought about it before hand but our 3 Ford's were all built in America (Kentucky & Michigan) and our Subaru was built by Hoosier's in Indiana. We do have a Canada built MDX as well, at least their on the same continent.