The writer sent this letter to General Motors.
General Motors, leave the retailing of cars and trucks to our dealers. Continue to manufacture high-quality vehicles. And retain our salespople.
Price does not sell cars and trucks. High-quality, must-have products, coupled with good, knowledgeable salespeople, sell cars and trucks.
The National Automobile Dealers Association says it costs $1,930 to sell a new vehicle. That includes floorplan, commissions, advertising, rent, insurance, etc.
On most vehicles, your GM employee-discount-for-all program falls far short of covering costs.
In plant cities, there is no longer a retail market for new vehicles. You have taken an employee perk and expanded it to everybody.
Salesperson retention is key to a dealer's success, and to your success. All those employee discount deals carry commissions of $100 to $150. Salespersons could make more money flipping hamburgers.
For GM and its dealers to be successful and gain market share, we must work together. Giving the employee discount to everybody has the opposite effect. The talk of transaction-based prices on 2006 models is scary if it resembles this current approach.
During the June 1 broadcast explaining the program, it was quite evident that GM management does not understand what it takes to sell cars and trucks.
All GM managers should spend a year selling cars and trucks and try to pay the mortgage and feed and clothe their families with the commissions.
They then would understand what it takes to be a successful salesperson today.
Hopefully, GM will rethink the entire process and take another good look at transaction-based pricing on 2006 models.
I have been selling Chevrolets for 35 years, and I would hate to see Chevrolet and its dealers lose their place as the best in the industry.
The writer is president of the Nevada Franchised Auto Dealers.