DETROIT -- The success of the Big 3's summer blowout sales shows that consumers prefer value pricing, AutoNation Inc. CEO Mike Jackson says.
The automakers' employee discount programs have made clear that a pricing structure based on "artificially inflated" sticker prices and complicated rebates is a "bankrupt concept," Jackson told Automotive News in an interview last week.
"That's the message," says Jackson, 56, who runs the nation's largest auto dealership group. "Get away from that."
General Motors' employee discount plan ends this week. The programs offered by Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler group expire Oct. 3. GM is replacing its plan with a value pricing program aimed at curbing incentives and bringing sticker prices closer to transaction prices.
The employee discount programs helped clear out excess Big 3 inventories, Jackson notes. He also applauds domestic automakers for cutting production this year -- another key to reducing inventory, he says.