Last month General Motors hit a home run with its employee pricing for everyone on almost all its 2005 cars and trucks. It was a great success, and anyone who thought that the market had dried up was mistaken.
Like 0 percent financing after 9/11, it was easy to understand, and it hit the hot button of a lot of folks who couldn't resist a great deal.
And with Ford and Chrysler joining GM this month, the consumer is getting something extra that also might be a great incentive.
GM introduced the factory no-dicker sticker.
For the first time, nearly all GM vehicles were sold at fixed prices that didn't require any negotiation.
This month a customer can buy a GM, Chrysler or Ford vehicle without any give and take with an automobile dealer.
I've always contended that the automobile customer doesn't mind paying a fair price and giving the dealer a profit. What the consumer fears is that he or she is not getting a fair price and that the guy down the street is getting a better deal -- not to mention that it often takes hours of negotiation to end up with a satisfactory deal.
This latest incentive plan from GM, and now Ford and Chrysler, eliminates negotiation. Everyone pays the same price without any haggling.
I think customers will have a different feeling about the car dealer as a result. Buying a new vehicle will become a pleasant and exciting transaction.
I know that a lot of dealers think that everyone loves to negotiate, but I've never believed it. Just about anyone you talk to will tell you that he or she does not like the process.
Now the factories have changed the process for the next month. No haggling, no dickering, no negotiation. Just about the only thing left is to figure out the F&I.
It will be interesting to learn just how the customer responds to the no-dicker sticker. In any event, it looks like Detroit has a winner on its hands, and Ford and Chrysler are getting on the bandwagon.
Now we're going to find out whether customers enjoy the lack of negotiation. I'm betting that they will.
It might not work for all dealers, but customers are going to love it.