Here is the letter that I sent to GM Canada.
My father drove 5 Opels (GM in Germany) from 1939 to 1975 and I just bought
a second Buick.
I am also a shareholder and as a shareholder I am concerned about the future
of GM. As a shareholder and as a recent customer, I would like to explain
to you my reasoning.
Looking through your website, I decided that Allure is the most suitable car
for me. The price at the time was CA $26,300. Dueck in downtown, Vancouver
told me that he would trade in my old car for $3500. They picked up my old
car from Carter and when I came in to sign the contract I saw that the price
for my old car was only $1000. At that moment I made a big mistake. Instead
of walking out right away, I began negotiating a price for my old car. In
the end, we settled for the price of $2600. In addition to being tricked
into settling for only $2600 for my old car, the price for the new car came
to $26,300 plus $420 for the registration fee, plus $100 for air
conditioning fee, and $25 for the gasoline. In conclusion, I was charged
$26,845 for my new Buick, Allure instead of $26,000 as promised. I signed
the contract anyways. Later on, when I reviewed the contract, I realized
that the $100 for air conditioning was charged twice and the tank wasn't
filled. Then, I checked all the items in the contract. Carter charges only
$195 for registration fee. Tina from GM (1-800-263-3777 / 2764) also
confirmed that the price is $195. I found out that the difference is
Protector Plus from Roy, Speed & Ross Ltd. I found out that this difference
($420-$195) $225 is mandatory if you buy a new car in Dueck dealership. I
would like to emphasize that the other car makers do not charge registration
fee. I feel betrayed by Dueck. I expected to pay $26,300 for my new Allure
but instead I was charged $545 more plus taxes. Dueck promises me to wave
$125. Tina told me that I singed the contract and that she can not do
My recommendations as a shareholder are:
- Prices on your website should be mandatory for all dealers and
should include all expenses. Of course dealers could offer cars for less
than the listed price.
- Dealers should itemize all items in the contract so that buyers
know what they are paying for.
- Dealers are not supposed to add extra benefits as mandatory costs.
I am writing you this letter to recommend you that you, as a company, should
protect your customers. New dealers can be easily found but new customers
cannot. If you have bad dealers, if you sell defective cars, and if customer
service is unsatisfactory, your business will go bankrupt.
Copy sand to: Vancouver Sun, Better business bureau, Dueck Down Town
Vancouver and Dealers Associations in Vancouver.
Well there's your first mistake. You ONLY looked at the GM website. What
should have also done is looked through some of the other websites on the
Internet - and there
are hundreds of them - that explain how to go about buying and negotiating
of a new car.
GM tried the grocery store method of pricing where there was only one price,
dickering, no haggling. They did it when they created Saturn, and as of
has never once turned a profit.
Not so Saturn is indeed profitable and has been for several years
since earning back the investment for its completely new, and
separate from all other GM, design, production and retail
facilities.. Saturn was intended to determine if a small car
could be produced in the US, separate from GM's economies of
scale. Since is has demonstrated it to be possible, Saturn will
be integrated into GM as a shared division
Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
| Not so Saturn is indeed profitable and has been for several years
| since earning back the investment for its completely new, and
| separate from all other GM, design, production and retail
| facilities.. Saturn was intended to determine if a small car
| could be produced in the US, separate from GM's economies of
| scale. Since is has demonstrated it to be possible, Saturn will
| be integrated into GM as a shared division
| mike hunt
Interesting. The business articles I've read have also stated that Saturn has
yet to turn a profit. The latest was a couple months back when GM had to pump
in some cash (can't remember how much, I think $2-3 billion) to keep it going.
I wish I had the links handy.
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