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GM witness a rough start on sales


The new Factory Pre-owned Collection portal of General Motors (GM), which sells used vehicles directly to final consumers sight a bumpy start. Among four signing up, the automaker’s dealers nationwide only had one, and the legality of its portal was challenged by California dealer association.

On Feb. 9, the online portal went live. According to GM, about 1,100 dealerships nodded in participating. The company had about 4,245 U.S. dealerships as per Jan. 1.

A letter was sent to the President of GM North America Alan Batey on Feb. 9, which entails about the “strong concerns” of the California New Car Dealers of whether the program will violate many Californian consumers in terms of protection laws, including other legal requirements. 

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The letter said, which the association’s president Brian Maas signed, "We have had our attorneys review the program and they have raised various legal issues that need to be addressed by GM," Automotive News acquired a copy. Among the 1,100 members, about 169 of which are associated as franchised GM dealers. 

The letter concerns about the program of whether the company is placed in an unfair competition, along with its used-car sales dealers. It also alarms of whether GM is into auto brokering, in which the company is in need of a California license. Moreover, the Kelley Blue Book submitted a price for each vehicle, which suggests an “unrealistic” and “therefore misleading."

Maas told Automotive News, "There are a whole host of issues relative to the Pre-Owned Collection program, and its not clear to us, based on what we can surmise from the program itself, whether [GM has] thought about these issues,"

The vice president of Chevrolet U.S. Brian Sweeney was asked regarding arising issues in the letter of the California association. He mentioned that the program "probably came on the dealers a little quickly", however, it is still supported by the Chevrolet National Dealer Council. "They understand it," he added.

Sweeney said, "Its a lead source," as the GM’s Shop-Click-Drive online buying program was launched in 2013, there was “noise” from dealers, he also mentioned. 

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He said, "Its the unknown. Theyre not used to it," he added, "Theyre used to either buying on the online auction or going through the physical auction. And now theres another portal."

He mentioned as well that the website is "an opportunity to really just connect the customer back to the dealer," and "it moves some of our product quickly through the system,"

GM tweaked the program before it was released to respond to a few feedback from dealers. A reconditioning allowance was added. Moreover, if the vehicle is qualified for the certification and the customer wanted it to be certified, then the dealer could process it for a discounted fee. 

The GM’s official website, offers low-mileage Chevrolet, including Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles that are for lease. 

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