General Motors is looking to simplify its vehicle incentive programs after receiving complaints from dealerships.
According to Automotive News, GM dealers have frequently complained about the complex nature of the automaker’s vehicle incentive programs. Some incentives will only be available to customers in certain parts of the country or on certain vehicle models and trims, so while it may have many different incentives in place at one time, many customers won’t qualify for any of them.
AN also spoke to dealers who reported receiving conflicting details on incentive programs. For example, they may receive a memo indicating an incentive is valid on certain models, while another may come through indicating it is actually trim-specific.
“We tried to be as simple as possible,” Steve Hill, GM’s vice president of U.S. sales, service and marketing, told AN. “Candidly, we probably have a lot more work to do, but I think the dealers gave us a lot of credit for trying to simplify and make it easier to do business.”
One Chevrolet dealer said they “almost have to interrogate,” the customer to find out which incentives apply to them, as personal information such as their ZIP code can determine if they qualify for an incentive. Some incentives are also only available to current GM owners or lessees of certain models from certain model years.
Price fluctuations can be a problem, as well. A vehicle may fluctuate in price by up to $10,000 between days due to incentives, leaving the customer confused and perhaps distrusting of the dealership. When the price shifts so dramatically, the customer may think that is the dealership’s profit margin, when in reality it’s the OEM’s. This can cause the sale to break down further down the line, as the customer may believe they are being swindled.
GM revised its incentive strategy for January by reducing the number of different incentives it offered. It also stopped offering VIN-specific incentives, using model or trim-based programs only. Most dealers would probably agree the industry has a long way to go with regard to simplifying its rebate programs, but experts AN spoke to indicate GM’s recent changes have been a step in the right direction.
Source: Automotive News