A look at the breakdown, however, shows this is based on the LT model with Signature Package. That is pretty specific and does not apply to the very popular LTZ models. $1700 of the savings is a discount package…but that discount is shown above the bottom line MSRP amount. Yes, there is $1700 in savings because the dealer ordered this package, but it does not come off the sticker price.
Then there is $4406 in what they call the “average holiday price reduction below MSRP.” I assume they did some math from actual transactions on this exact vehicle package. Then to finish the math, it says $5000 total cash allowance. So, from the MSRP price on these vehicles you can deduct $5000 in rebates and either more or less than $4406 in a dealer discount.
What most people don’t catch in this same ad are the words “find your tag”. You see, Chevy gives the dealers additional money on a small percentage of their inventory to offer bigger discounts on SELECT vehicles. The kicker is the dealers have to choose which vehicles that want to apply the special tags to at the beginning of the month and they can’t move them around. Once selected, they can’t take the extra money off one vehicle to apply to another. The end result is a dealer can have two identical vehicles sitting side by side, but one might be substantially cheaper than the other.
Of course, dealers are going to choose to tag the vehicles they need to sell the worst. These are generally less popular models, perhaps demos or loaner cars, but generally it will be their slowest sellers and oldest inventory.
On the “current deals” page at the Chevy website, at the bottom of the page in the fine print, the words “on select tagged vehicles in stock ” or “dealer selected vehicles in stock” appears 18 times. While the ads on TV, radio, and Internet appear to offer amazing deals, the reality of it is that the offers are only good on a handful of vehicles.
To be fair, Ford and Fiat Chrysler have similar programs. I talked to a number of the dealers
that are part of the Car Pro Show
, and they hate these kinds of programs. They have to take the time to try to explain to customers why they can buy a purple Suburban so much cheaper than the white one they really want that has the exact same sticker price.
For me, it is auto manufacturers engaging in bait & switch tactics. They save a lot of rebate money by not offering those great deals across the board, instead just on a small portion of their vehicles, all the while giving the illusion that everybody can participate. It is the dealers that then have to do the cleanup and try to salvage a customer who has been loyal to them for years.
Automakers, if you want to pay the dealers extra money to help sell distressed merchandise, that is all well and good. Just don’t make us believe that everybody in America can get these great deals when in reality, only a few will. That is the very definition of bait & switch.