With so many hot new vehicles inbound from the likes of GM – including models like the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, the Chevrolet Silverado EV, and the Cadillac Lyriq electric crossover – and such tight supply constraints, the time is ripe for pricing abuses from dealers. It’s never quite been uncommon for dealers to try and profit off of high-demand new products by asking well over MSRP, but things seem to be especially bad of late.
General Motors is taking a proactive approach to stomping it out, sending a strongly worded letter to its network of US dealers that says, in so many words: we will come at you.
The letter was originally published by Corvette Action Center, and it specifically calls out dealers who have “attempted to demand money above and beyond the reservation amounts set in GM’s program rules” on products with a manufacturer reservation system like the Silverado EV and Hummer EV. It also calls out dealers that have “requested customers to pay sums far in excess of MSRP in order to purchase or lease a vehicle.”
The punishment facing a dealer that runs afoul of GM’s wishes with regard to vehicle and reservation pricing could include redirecting their vehicle allocation or taking “other recourse prescribed by the Dealer Sales and Service Agreement.” That’s awfully vague, and we have a hard time believing GM would go so far as to impose financial penalties or revoke a franchise, but it seems possible.
GM in its letter also calls out dealers who have worked with brokers – affiliated third parties who essentially “purchase” a vehicle or allocation and then resell it on behalf of the dealer to skirt price-gouging rules – which is a direct violation of the Dealer Sales and Service Agreement. The penalties implied for that behavior are the same as those prescribed for dealers engaging in other price-gouging practices.
It’s only natural that the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 would inspire such a letter; the American-born supercar is an absolute phenom, with a special racing-bred 5.5L flat-plane-crank V8 engine capable of up to 670 horsepower and 8,600 rpm. The response from fans was swift and enthusiastic, with waitlists at many dealerships stretching out to 3 or 4 years.