The headline of the automotive industry over the course of the 2023 calendar year has been vehicle inventory levels, or the lack thereof. This was partly due to logistics challenges in shipping said vehicles to the dealership. Now, in an effort to help alleviate this bottleneck, GM is paying its dealers to pick up vehicles directly from its assembly plants.
According to a report from Automotive News, General Motors is paying upwards of $1,050 per vehicle for its dealerships to pick up completed vehicles from one of four assembly plants, including the GM Arlington plant in Texas, the GM Wentzville plant in Missouri, the GM Fort Wayne plant in Indiana, and the GM Oshawa plant in Canada.
It’s worth noting that the level of compensation depends on the distance of the dealership from the assembly plant, as the payout increases with further distance for a maximum of $1,050. With this in mind, some dealerships are regularly driving great distances in order to cash in on this new incentive.
Upon first glance, it may seem as though this unusual shipping option may not make a huge difference in the bigger picture. However, General Motors higher-ups have stated that the number of vehicles being picked up isn’t insignificant, and that the extra volume may be showing up in sales figures.
“One unit is one more spot on a rail [car], it’s one more spot on a truck,” Chevy Global Vice President Scott Bell claimed. “It does help the overall capacity. Every one we move is one less that we’ve got to worry about finding a home for in the constrained logistics chain that we’re dealing with.”
Interestingly, this development comes a few months after The General saw an increase in inventory levels across the United States. More specifically, inventory levels jumped four percent during Q2 2023 to 427,972 units, as compared to 412,285 examples in Q1 2023. Although Q3 2023 figures have yet to be released, it’s likely that U.S. inventory levels rose once again in Q3 2023.