DETROIT — The GMC Hummer will be an extreme, six-figure showpiece of General Motors' electric vehicle prowess. It also will be a test for GM's ability to exert greater control over the dealership sales process in the dawning EV era.
For the next two years, GM will be pulling Hummer dealers' strings, doling out inventory based solely on customer orders and encouraging standardized pricing. The automaker even asserts the right to limit GMC dealers' interactions with Hummer buyers, according to a portion of the brand's "electric models participation agreement" shared with Automotive News by a dealer.
Dealers "can feel the breathing on the back of their necks," said Joe Aboyoun, partner at the Aboyoun-Dobbs law firm in Pine Brook, N.J. "Hopefully that's just part of the startup process. But there is a concern that this is just the beginning of a new methodology that clearly constitutes a violation of the franchise relationship."