This article is part of the GM Authority Mailbag series, where the GM Authority Crew features and replies to your questions, comments, and observations.
The following came to us from Bob O. in Canada:
If GM would give Canada more Corvettes maybe the sales wouldn’t have declined in November. It is a joke.
There are cars all over the US Dealers’ lots and as a Chevy dealer in Canada I get one a year if I am lucky!
Chevrolet sales grew 9 percent during November in Canada, and Corvette sales grew 16 percent to 63 units. But we feel your pain. Perhaps Chevy could’ve sold some more Vettes during the month, had dealers like yourself had more to sell.
Perhaps the more appropriate topic would be GM’s “sell and earn” allocation model, and whether or not it actually works to the advantage of the customer. Although not the case for all models, the system works something like this: a dealer must first “sell” a unit of a particular vehicle model in order to “earn” the ability to order another unit of the same model from GM for its inventory, which it sells to a customer, and so forth. This is called “allocation”, in the GM dealer world.
On its surface, the allocation model seems fair, but it’s also somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy for dealers who have a customer ready to buy a certain model, but can’t get their hands on a unit that they can sell to a customer, hence forcing the customer to go to another dealership to buy the vehicle. The original dealership loses twice: first, in losing a sale and, second, in not earning the right (allocation) to order the model from GM for future buyers.
But in the case of the Corvette, that allocation model goes out the window. Instead, only dealers who have sold a Corvette in 2013 can order the C7. And if you didn’t, tough luck.
So what’s a dealer like yourself to do? Any dealers in the crowd, feel free to sound off in the comments.