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GM Now Wants to Sell Cars Over the Internet

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by sleepyhead, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead Active Member

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    Sorry dealerships, move over and make room for the 21st century:

    http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/30/5046798/general-motors-ceo-wants-millennials-to-buy-cars-over-the-internet


    Speaking during GM's quarterly earnings investor call, CEO Dan Akerson suggested the automaker is actively exploring the concept — which could bring GM closer to Tesla's innovative retail structure. "I don’t think it should go without passing to note that we want people to start buying cars over the internet," Akerson said. He described these theoretical web sales as "a potential half-step away from our traditional channels."
     
  2. palmer_md

    palmer_md Member

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    Akerson is a smart man. He sees that this is where he needs to be, and is just putting it out there to see what response he gets. He has a tough battle to wage in order to be able to sell direct. I'm not sure how he is going to pull it off. The dealer associations, and they laws they got passed, are going to be very hard to break.
     
  3. DriverOne

    DriverOne Member

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    It's good to have allies.
     
  4. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    This doesn't actually change anything. You can buy online, at which point you're sent to a dealer for the actual purchase and pickup/delivery. Also worth noting that you can't "haggle" the purchase price with a web site and you'll end up paying full retail.
     
  5. aznt1217

    aznt1217 Active Member

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    This is the point I was driving at. I think Ackerson is treating it like a Point of Sale system where a customer knows exactly what he wants but will pick up and still pay the dealer price.
     
  6. ggies07

    ggies07 Active Member

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    If there's no haggling in price anymore, but there's still that 30% increase in price because of the manufacture to dealer transaction, then people would be paying even more for their car. If GM goes this route, they really should make their cars only when someone orders it online, which would allow the price to be lowered for the customer and potentially more sales for GM.
     
  7. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead Active Member

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    It sounded to me like they want to get rid of dealerships. I am not interpreting this the same way that you all are.

    I'd rather go to the dealer and haggle than pay full MSRP. I think the whole idea was to sell cars directly to consumers like Tesla and cut out the dealership premium. Dealerships could then continue making their money on parts and repairs.
     
  8. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    Who in their right mind is going to pay more, and still have to visit a dealership to pick up the car. GM is stuck with the dealership model, until they both fail, IMO.
     
  9. scottf200

    scottf200 Active Member

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    I don't follow why you'd be forced to pay MSRP. For many years there have been internet prices even at various dealers. I bought my wife's car like that several years back. Now there are sites like http://www.truecar.com that help drive down prices and show dealers in your area. (ie. let them compete with each other).
     
  10. palmer_md

    palmer_md Member

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    But that is the dealerships still setting the price and selling the car. My impression is that GM wants to setup a site where you can order your car online on their website and then just go to the dealer to pick up the car and sign the papers. That means the dealership did not set the sell price, nor sell the car, they would just get paid to be the delivery specialist, and to be the service center.
     
  11. Ardie

    Ardie Member

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    GM is at least thinking ahead to the future. It may even be the path that GM will have to take to survive in the 21st century. Who really knows?

    I can see that buying a car over the Internet may sidestep those lower-than-pond-scum car salesmen, and there have probably been studies that buyers will click on options far more readily at home in front of their own computer instead of being cornered in the high-pressure closing room at the dealership.

    And it may be handy to have a fixed location to go instead of the Tesla Rangers traveling far and wide. Soon, they will be so busy that they will be ranging far and wide when you want 'em.

    There's still the sticky wicket of the trade-in, though. Whatcha gonna do? Send them an iPhone picture of a car to get a trade-in value? They gotta see it and offer you a laughably tiny value to your face, not some impersonal email.

    Finally, there's no reason that the GM Buy-A-Car website couldn't have an [ ENTER DISCOUNT COUPON CODE ] button for you to click.


    -- Ardie
    Now if only I could hack such a website to accept a "100% discount" code...
     
  12. palmer_md

    palmer_md Member

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    You could just take it to Carmax, or GM could work a deal with Carmax to be the appraiser and re-seller of all the cars they bring in. It is practically that way now.
     
  13. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    And there's the problem. The government will just bail them out again and we'll continue to be further screwed.
     

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