One prominent member of General Motors’ dealer advisory board believes the automaker isn’t doing dealerships any favors when it comes to fixed operations. In fact, Peter Lanzavecchia, president of Burns Buick-GMC in suburban Philadelphia, thinks GM’s work interferes with local dealers more than anything.
“GM, with its nanny-state attitude, seems to forget dealers are pretty savvy, and maybe your go-to-market strategy in your own market, the market that the dealer knows best, would have been effective,” he told Automotive News in a report published Monday.
Lanzavecchia noted national advertising campaigns for service and parts often don’t cut it in high-cost markets. The dealer president noted GM’s advertised special for a $49.95 express service package that includes an oil and filter change, tire rotation and multipoint inspection. Lanzavecchia said the price is simply too low for markets like his, and the national specials intrude on a dealer’s ability to offer their own discounts.
GM defended the national advertisements and said the prices aim to build customer loyalty.
“Our overarching objective is to build customer loyalty through a great service lane experience because we know that customers who use the dealer service lane are far more likely to repurchase,” said GM spokesman Jim Cain.
Mark Scarpelli, former chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, also complained of similar practices by an unnamed automaker. But, he also noted automakers often demand dealers purchase things like tires, oil and replacement parts from an approved vendor.
And the trouble comes as many GM dealers see declines in the parts and service departments altogether. Burns Buick-GMC’s service department reportedly brought in $55,000 in 2017, down from $305,000 in 2014.
“There’s not the revenue growth that we need, and there’s been a massive increase in costs,” Lanzavecchia said.