A GMC Hummer EV Pickup Edition 1 buyer who was excited to take delivery of their battery-electric pickup was instead left dismayed after the dealership applied a $50,000 markup to the vehicle at the last minute.
The customer, who anonymously relayed his experience to enthusiast blog Jalopnik, was able to secure a reservation for the limited-edition GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 when the automaker first opened reservations for the vehicle in 2020. On March 17th, he was informed by the dealer, Penske Buick GMC in Cerritos, California, that the vehicle he had pre-ordered had arrived at the dealership.
When he got to the dealer, the salesperson greeted his wife and him and offered him the keys to the vehicle to take a test drive. After a short spin in the vehicle, they walked into the salesperson’s office to do the usual financial paperwork. It was at this point he realized the dealership had applied a $50,000 market adjustment to the vehicle, bringing its pre-tax asking price from the manufacturer’s suggested price of $110,295 to $160,295. After taxes and other registration/licensing fees, the transaction would have totalled $177,013.85.
The customer obviously balked at this asking price and ended up walking away from the dealer. He later called GMC to ask if there was any recourse he could take, but he told Jalopnik the automaker was of no real help and only took his name and information to create a case file.
GM has already warned dealers over applying so-called market adjustment fees to in-demand products like the Hummer EV Edition 1. In a letter sent to dealers earlier this year, the automaker said it was aware of some dealerships that have been “demanding money above and beyond the reservation amounts set in GM’s program rules,” and would be “forced to take action if it learns of any unethical sales practices or brokering activities that undermine the integrity,” of its brands. This could include rerouting popular products like the Hummer EV SUV to other dealers or taking “other recourse prescribed by the Dealer Sales and Service Agreement.”
While GM is not a fan of this sales practice, the automaker has no legally-backed way to force a dealer to sell a vehicle for a certain price. We wouldn’t be surprised if the dealer was able to find a customer willing to pay this $50,000 market adjustment fee, either, as a Hummer EV Edition 1 recently sold for nearly $300,000 at auction – making this $177,000 price tag seem like a bargain.