Sales soared, but Big 3 dealers were not impressed: Most will welcome the demise of the automakers' employee discounts for all customers.
In an unscientific Automotive News survey last week, 57 percent of Big 3 dealers said automakers should end the discounts. Only 27 percent wanted them to continue, and the rest had no opinion.
It's easy to see why dealers panned the discounts: 68 percent said their gross profits per vehicle had declined, while only 11 percent said per-vehicle profits had grown.
"I feel the program is stealing profitable business from the future," said one Chrysler-Jeep dealer.
Last week, 310 dealers who subscribe to Automotive News e-mail newsletters responded to an invitation to complete an online questionnaire about the summer blowout sales. Respondents included 194 dealers with Big 3 franchises, 80 import dealers and 36 dealers who had both Big 3 and import franchises.
At the time, General Motors had announced plans to end the discounts today, Aug. 1, while Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler group had not given their plans for August.
GM offered vehicles at 3 to 5 percent below the dealer invoice. Ford and Chrysler offered 4 to 5 percent below dealer invoice.