To the Editor:
We have a dual problem with the month-end/quarterly rebate push. One is the customer waiting for a better deal. The other is dealers and late-model trades.
What dealer wants to agree to a late-model trade when he feels there is a better program coming? If we (dealers) agree to a price on a two- or three-year-old trade and the rebate increases, we take a wholesale loss.
How about we create some stability in the market? Like this: People buying new General Motors cars today have a best-rebate guarantee for 90 days. If the rebate increases in 1-89 days, we make it right with those customers.
Wouldn't it be great to answer "What are they going to do at the end of the month?" with "It doesn't matter; you have a guaranteed best rebate for 90 days. Let me show you these great features on this GM vehicle."
In that scenario, if the rebates go up, the trades still fall, but it should happen less. I would take that occasional hit in a minute to be able to quit predicting the rebate game and get back to features, benefits and the fun of buying/selling a new car.
Someone once said that if you want people to quit worrying, give them a guarantee. Of course, it has to be honest and straightforward. In my humble opinion, that will prove to our customers that we are offering a value promise.
New Ulm, Minn.