Bargain hunters

Autoblog were seeking stories about GM discount shoppers that have benefitted from the Employee Pricing campaign that’s running until July 5th. Their comments thread quickly filled up with stories and most of them we about 9-2x sales (Autoblog were specifically interested in Saab sales).

I decided to see what all the fuss is about (hey, I’m in Australia and all we get are grumpy comedians doing ad campaigns about how “Holden means a great deal to Australia”). I checked out all the models (gotta love drop-down lists) and scribbled down all the discouted prices. If you’re thinking about the GM employee discount, here’s what you get (click on it to enlarge).

Empdisc.jpg

These prices include applicable rebates, hence the whopping big discounts on the already heavily rebated 9-2x. The 9-2x was already having a great run in May 2005, prior to these discounts coming along. I’m predicting there may be upwards of 5,000 9-2x sales during June. Watch this space.

So how’s the campaign going?

Well, according to one report that’s appearing around the traps, showroom traffic for all of GM is up around 24% and market-share is up from 25.8% to around 30% – and that’s based on figures up to mid-month. I’m guessing that traffic will get even a little more frenetic once things start coming to a close.

Some dealerships are already running out of certain models and as this news gets around, combined with the deadline for the employee pricing, I’m sure there’s going to be even more people interested in getting their piece of the pie before it all runs out.

So what are people saying?
The dealer: about the 9-2x sales – “My last one goes out this afternoon, wish I’d sold it. I think they may be all gone. Took a day of yesterday and we were inundated with calls as we had one of the last ones”

The buyer: Again, the 9-2x – “Hey guys just wanted to post saying that after all my research and the help of this forum(for what to expect and negotiate), I got my Black 9-2x aero with cold, sport and premium packages…I picked her up at 8:30 last night and I didn’t stop driving around until about 10….what a great car…I can’t wait to take her around some twisties and see what she can do….I did take her around some curved on ramps and man this car can handle…”

Another buyer: this time, the 9-7x – “I drove the Linear Model last week and my wife and our family were thoroughly impressed. Odered my Arc on friday and it will be here within 3 weeks. I’ve read a lot of hand wringing about GM’s involvement in this car, but as someone who was about to buy a BMW, this car is GREAT!!!! We are getting the Arc with a Moonroof and they are adding the DVD player to it at the dealer. Black with tan leather seats, very nice appearance. Plus I was able to use my GM Supplier Employee Discount for 2,400 off of sticker. Tell me a car that rides this nice with Standard everything: Xenon Headlamps, XM Satellie Radio, OnStar, Moonroof, Heated seats etc for this price, and free maintenance for 3 years, You really have to drive this to appreciate how good it is.”

There are, of course, a lot of people worrying about what happens on July 6th. The promotion ends on July 5th and it’s anyone’s guess as to what the after-effects will be. Slower sales, lower resale? We’ll wait and see. Hopefully the sticker price plans that GM slated a week or so ago will be effective.

The undoubted positive, however, is the buzz it seems to have created in GM showrooms and as has been stated before, there’s no revival of a car company that has not included getting large numbers of good vehicles into the hands of the people (words to that effect, anyway).

I can’t wait to see Saab’s sales figures for June, and I can’t help but wonder whether they would have been even higher if the 9-7x invoicing problem hadn’t have occured at the start of the month. I could easily imagine several hundred more 9-7x’s walking out the door, if only they could get in the door to start with.

BTW, if you’re a Saab dealer reading this, how’s it going for you??

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9 Comments

  1. Hi Swade,

    I share your optimism regarding the 9-2x sales figures for June. May’s numbers were certainly encouraging and the deep discounts are bound to help. But I’ve been having a nagging concern that May’s numbers were an anomaly, possibly fueled by a 500 unit or 750 unit fleet sale. I hope I’m wrong…

    Alan

  2. I got a deal here in Canada in May this year even without “GM employee pricing”. I walked out the door for $43000 Canadian on a 9-5 Arc which includes the 15% in taxes, the freight, the premium package, the 6 spoke 17″ aluminum wheels, roof racks, a bicycle carrier, rubber mat for the trunk, and 3m clear bra.

    How?

    1. The dealer chopped off $1000 off their list which was $43000 list cdn.

    2. Saab loyalty credit of $2000

    3. Premium package special incl.

    4. $3750 cash credit (took a loan for balance myself) for not taking their financing (I intend on paying it off in under 2 years)

    5. $500 in GM accessories from the Toronto Auto show.

    6. Another $750 coupon(again probably from the signup at the autoshow.)

    I suspect this was better that 15% (too lazy to do the math and too busy enjoying the car!)

    I suspect some of this was due to the soon enough release of the 2006 9-5.

    One happy Saaber

    (love your site)

  3. The local dealership, Dirito Brothers Saab of Walnut Creek, CA (http://www.dirito.com/), is unwilling to offer the employee discount on the 9-3 Arc and Aero.

    Their story? “Saab is phasing out the Linear, and that’s why you only see the $22,681 figure advertised.”

    Guess I’ll be going elsewhere; some dealerships could use an audit from GM so that the bs is kept to a minimum. πŸ™‚

  4. Erik, I hope you can find another dealer close by that’ll do the deal you want. If you do, get a photo of you handing him/her the cheque and email it to Dirito.

    Ken, if I could get citizenship from overseas, it’d be 3, eh? Actually, I’ll have to look into that, eh?

  5. Will do, Swade – I drove to the dealership with my red 90 spg, I thought that’d help to smooth things over with my purchase as a point of conversation. When he asked me what I drove, I mentioned the spg – he didn’t seem to know what it was. Ugh.

  6. Our dealership here in Hobart was, per capita, possibly the best one in Australia for quite a long time. Then the owners sold it.

    The guys that bought it did so mainly for the real estate value, though they continued to sell Saabs for about a year from there. Their heart wasn’t in it though, they wanted to move theiw VW dealership into the area.

    I went in there once and the guy that was ‘selling’ them waxed lyrical for a full 5 minutes about how the engineering was so good in…..Switzerland.

    I nearly choked. Then I nearly choked him!!

    Thankfully another dealership has taken over the franchise and whilst the group ain’t the best (esp in terms of servicing the vehicle) the saab guy there is a real champion for the brand and supports our car club really well.

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