Chevrolet Hopes No-Haggle Pricing & 60-Day Return Policy Will Lure Car Buyers

General Motors knows July and August will be important months for Chevrolet, as it’s the time when many vehicles make the switch from 2012 models to 2013 models. That’s why the company is rolling out two new plans to try and bring customers to its dealerships, including a no-haggle pricing plan and a 60-day return policy on certain vehicles.

The programs are an attempt to woo buyers who might not be totally convinced they want a Chevrolet, or even to buy a new car given tough economic times. GM shelled out a lot of dough to upgrade its dealerships, and the head honchos want customers to find their way into the spiffy new spaces, with the hope that the improved atmosphere will inspire confidence and lead to a new car sale.

The “Love it or Return it” program will allow customers in July and August to return new models within 60 days of purchase, if those cars meet certain conditions.

Then there’s the “Total Confidence Pricing” for its 2012 vehicles, which will set prices at around the same price GM offers to employees of its auto parts suppliers, reports Reuters. That no-haggle policy was a mainstay of GM’s Saturn vehicles, until it folded in 2009 after bankruptcy.

Chevrolet is important to GM — it has accounted for 73% of the 1.32 million new vehicles the company has sold in the U.S. so far in 2012.

Chevrolet offers return guarantee, no-haggle pricing for U.S. buyers [Reuters]

 

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  1. momoftwokids says:

    They may not haggle but I still don’t want a Chevy.

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    “That no-haggle policy was a mainstay of GM’s Saturn vehicles, until it folded in 2009 after bankruptcy.”

    So…it’s shown to work effectively?

    • dolemite says:

      lol, that was my first thought as well.

    • frank64 says:

      Just because Saturn offered no haggle pricing doesn’t mean that was the reason for its downfall.

    • Jaynor says:

      Ha – I wouldn’t buy a Saturn when they existed for this reason. Haggling routinely gets me out the door well under the invoice price of the car (let alone the sticker price – which is always several thousand higher). Consumer reports car reports for the win. If I can’t haggle on a Chevy it likely means I’m getting bilked. I’ll buy a car that I can get for as close to the profit line as possible instead.

      • Shorebreak says:

        You think you are paying “well under the invoice price of the car”. You have no idea what that dealer really paid for the vehicle, unless you work in the dealership back office, and they are not going to sell it to you at a loss.

        • hammond egger says:

          Are you serious? You can easily look up invoice price online. You can also easily look up holdback percentage by manufacturer.

    • Jawaka says:

      So does “no haggle” mean that the price is set by Chevrolet and not the dealer? If I visit 5 Chevy dealers will the new car that I want be priced the same at all five of them? If not then “no haggle” really isn’t a advantage for the customer.

  3. bassbeast says:

    Yay, thanks for the ad, Consumerist!

  4. Weeman says:

    According to latest car reports all GM needs to do is sell more cars to the government, which sold upwards of 70% more cars to the government his year. I grew up with GM cars and wish they would make great cars again.

  5. gtrgod01 says:

    I wonder how a few chips in the paint due to rocks (possible to get one just driving away from the dealer) will be handled with the “no damage” return policy?

  6. frank64 says:

    The prices need to be great for the no hassle to really work, otherwise many will be turned off.

    • frank64 says:

      no haGGLE to really work.

    • Jawaka says:

      The problem as I see it is that many people feel that they got a great price because of the haggling. Its been programmed into our brains that you never pay sticker price for a new car and that’s not something that Chevrolet will be able to change.

  7. Bsamm09 says:

    Sweet. I’ve been looking for a big truck to tow my boat. Now I can rent one for 60-days.

    • wackydan says:

      I’m sure it is minus some ridiculous per mile fee… similar to what you deal with if you invoke a lemon law via arbitration…Trust me… it is in the fine print.

  8. Coffee says:

    That no-haggle policy would be tempting for me if I were in the market for a new car. I hate, hate, hate haggling, and I think if I were to walk into a dealership by myself, I would end up paying significantly more than I did for my car. Thankfully, when I purchased my most recent car, I grabbed my mother’s friend, who not only loves to haggle, but had purchased three cars from that dealership and knew the owner. I stood back and let him do all the talking, then stepped forward and bought the car when he was done with them.

    Pro-Tip from listening to him do his thing:

    1. After you test drive the car, even if you really like it, nonchalantly talk about coming back after you look at some other dealers in the area, even if it’s not true. They really, really don’t want you to leave, and this will give you a little leverage.

    2. Once you’re down to amount where you feel like they won’t budge, try to get them to throw on an option you don’t care about. Fog lights, for example. If they agree to it, ask them the value of the “free” upgrade, and they’ll tell you something like $500…after some consideration, tell them that you changed your mind about the fog lights, but if they knock that $500 off, you’re game.

    • huadpe says:

      You can also use tip #2 with the financing if you’re buying outright. So if they offer 0% financing, have them go on about how much you’d save by financing at 0%. Then once they’ve said all that let them know you don’t think you’ll be financing but can they take that amount off since that’s what you’d offer as a savings if you were financing?

    • wackydan says:

      Haggling is easy… and the internet has made it easier.

      I leveraged two ford and two dodge dealers against each other when I shopped my new truck in December. The prices between the dealers were practically on top of one another even though they didn’t know the other dealership’s bid.

      So the key is research of prices ahead of time. I got some great pricing reports from ConsumerReports for $14 per model and from Truecar.com.

      Then you visit the dealers ( I only visited two – the others were phone only) and you share no information with them…Not where you work, your line of work, not how much you have to put down, not your budget… nothing. They should have no clue as to what your financial status is until you’ve agreed upon a price.

      Haggling doesn’t really take much nor a lot of time. It saved me $8500 off sticker.

      The real problem is people who are in a rush to buy, or buy on emotion… those are the ones that get taken.

    • incident_man says:

      I do a similar sort of thing. I negotiate on price only and do my research fully before going in, even securing my own financing beforehand. I even have an amortization program on my phone to help me to figure out payments while I’m talking with the salesman. If the salesman pulls out the “foursquare” sheet, I tell him that, “We’re not playing that game.” If I don’t get the price I want, I walk.

      The last new car I bought was a 2010 Honda Accord LX-P, the Costco member “deal” in my area for the same-equipped car was close to $22,000. I got mine for $20,700. Roughly 3% of the people who bought the same car got a better deal than I did. I’m happy with those results.

      There are a few dealerships in my area that don’t budge on the sticker price; I just use them to test drive. If they’re not willing to deal, I go somewhere else.

    • jumbojeepman says:

      Who doesn’t want fog lights?

    • Willow16 says:

      Do you have AAA or USAA? They use the zag car buying service. We have bought two cars through USAA and I helped my dad buy one through AAA. There is absolutely no haggling. You plug in what you’re looking for and the site will give you three dealers and the price they will charge for the car. The fine print does say that it must be in stock but we had a Subaru dealer who was willing to get the car from another state if we wanted a different color (we just went with what was on the lot). With the last car we bought (a Ford Fiesta) the dealer was willing to order it from the factory at the zag price. They wound up finding it about 100 miles away, they sent someone to pick it up and we got the exact configuration and color that we wanted. It was great because we wanted a bottom of the line Fiesta in Violet Grey with automatic and the convenience package which is very difficult to find. We paid a little over $14,000 for it and the dealership probably made nothing on the sale except good will.

      Give it a try the next time you are buying a car.

      • hammond egger says:

        I work at a Ford dealership and if you got the car as you described, you got a helluva deal. Retail for that car is about $15,500 and even at that price, they are only about $200 over invoice.

        • 180CS says:

          I remember working in retail. Now that I’ve moved on but am close friends with the old owner, he willingly admits to NEVER telling any of his employees the truth about what he was paying.

          It’s a lot easier to make a lot more money when you can get all of your employees to believe that an inflated price is in fact the invoice that was paid.

    • hammond egger says:

      What you don’t know is that those $500 fog lights they threw in actually cost about $100 so when you now ask for the $500 off, they can’t do it.

  9. wackydan says:

    No thanks. The 2005 Chevy I bought new has shown me that GM doesn’t get another chance with this family for at least several more years… It is that bad, which is why I bought a Ford when it came time to replace the other vehicle – which was also bought new 13 years ago and was a trouble free Dodge (yes, go figure).

    The recent new GM rentals I’ve had seem better, but not convincing me to give them another shot.

  10. Gman says:

    [Translation] No-haggle: We will make our profits by upping costs in service center, pricing on insurance and fees and/or reduce the money you get for your trade-in.

    No-haggle is not always good. It is very, very intimidating to haggle, but it really is your best option. This just closes off one huge avenue to reduce your price.

    • frank64 says:

      Yes, the trade in price can totally negate the no haggle policy. To get around it you could always sell it to another place, but many won’t do that.

      • wackydan says:

        That’s why in typical deals you don’t negotiate the trade until the very end… granted the no haggle policy kinda kills you there.

        • Velvet Jones says:

          Never trade a car unless it is a lemon that you can’t get rid of. Once you take the trade off the block it gives the dealer way less room to try and screw you in the end. With my wife’s last car we ended up selling it on Craigslist for over double what several dealers were offering as the “max” price they would go.

          • tinmanx says:

            The dealership offered me $100 for my old car. I put a sign on the window and sold it for $1800.

    • Coffee says:

      I know what you mean, but if they actually do what they say they’re going to do and essentially sell the car at wholesale, there’s not a lot of room to wiggle downward.

      • frank64 says:

        They didn’t say they were going to sell it wholesale, they said at a price they sell to thier parts suppliers. It COULD be a near wholesale price or at least very good, or it could be higher than most cars actually sell for. A no haggle price is great for them if the price is higher than the average selling price.

    • yankinwaoz says:

      On Saturday I stopped at a VW dealer to look at a car I’m interested. The salesman was helpful. So I told him that I will give him a chance to bid for my business later this month when I buy a car. He turned cold as a fish and informed me that I will not get a good price if I have multiple dealers searching all the SoCal dealers for what I want.

      Huh?

      Well, I threw away his business card after that comment.

  11. scoutermac says:

    I thought they tried this once before and people had difficulties returning vehicles.

  12. Phildogger says:

    I hear you on that one. I also have a 2005 Chevrolet (Trailblazer) and seem to be fixing it on a monthly schedule. Seems to be a Friday afternoon at the factory vehicle.

  13. Will Print T-shirts For Food says:

    I tried to buy a 2012 Malibu last September. The salesman assured me that he could not give me an interest rate lower than 14% and that I could not afford it. I went across the street and got 4.2 interest rate on a 2012 Camry SE. Maybe if they want to make sales they should get their finance department in line.

    What was I thinking buying a Malibu, anyway? I’ve always owned only Camrys….

    • Coffee says:

      14%? That’s fucking insane.

    • Chmeeee says:

      By they you mean that dealer, right? It’s not Chevy’s finance department, just like it wasn’t Toyota’s finance department that gave you the rate.

      • Will Print T-shirts For Food says:

        Yeah, yeah, semantics. But my point, which I clearly did not point out in my original post, is that I visited two Chevy dealerships (One in Gainesville and one in Ft Lauderdale) and two Toyota dealerships (One in Gainesville and one in Kendall) and got the same hoopla from Chevy and the same praise from Toyota.

        What I guess I meant to say is that they need to re-brand the way they deal with financing overall and at all dealerships. Yes, dealerships are individually owned but the brand can have more say over things like this.

  14. MaytagRepairman is stealing socks while fixing your dryer. says:

    If I want a no-haggle price, I’ll go through Costco and get whatever brand I want.

  15. Geekybiker says:

    No haggle pricing only helps those terrible at haggling and ignorant of the many programs available to get set pricing (Costco, USAA, Etc.) No doubt that no haggle pricing involves setting the point above the median price paid. I’m not even sure it will work for American car companies. They have spend a long time conditioning people with all the special offers they have that nobody considers MSRP anything close to the real price. When you buy other makes you don’t have to worry about $5k in rebates showing up next week.

  16. yankinwaoz says:

    Wow.. Chevy is sure hiding this program on their website. You have to drill down to a specific model and then search for deals on that model in your zip code.

    I read the conditions. http://www.chevrolet.com/confidence/conditions/. There are some nice ones in there:

    They won’t refund “dealer fees of any kind”. So if the dealer decided to slap all sorts of fees, you are stuck paying for those. What about those expensive “dealer delivery fees” that run into the hundreds of dollars that I see on the price stickers? Guess you are stuck.

    They will refund the sales tax. Nice. All the other fees, no.

    You can’t have done more than 4000 miles. Sounds reasonable.

    No more than $300 of damage. Scary. Outside of replacing the courtesy light’s bulb, any repair will exceed that dollar amount. I think this clause alone will render this program totally moot.

    The dealer has to be participating. Kind of scary to me. What if the dealer claims they were participating, but lied? What if they withdraw from the program during the 60 day period? What is to stop a slimy dealer from selling cars under the program, and then 30 days later cancelling their agreement meaning you can’t return it? Nothing.

    The car has to pass inspection by a GM agent. An agent who’s income in paid for my GM. Gee, guess what this agent is going to decide? Just like arbitration paid for by the party you want to sue, you don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of any kind of justice.

    No word on when they will actually pay you back your money. Not a hint. From what I can tell, they can take 10 years to get around to processing your claim.

    You can’t sue them if they screw it up. You have to accept arbitration, which means you don’t have a chance.

    There are just so many ways that this can go wrong for consumers. Please Consumerist. In September please follow and find out how many people attempted to return a car versus how many actually succeeded.

  17. dougp26364 says:

    Building a quality car at a reasonable price works better than gimicks and sales tricks.

  18. RobHoliday says:

    Every dealer is no haggle! If you do your homework.

    Step 1: Pre-qualify for financing and find out your interest rate. Use your bank or credit union. The dealer may offer a better interest rate, but that is for after the agreed price and should not change the bottom line.

    Step 2: Research the value of your trade and determine what you are comfortable getting for it on a trade in. Trade in value is always the least amount you’ll receive for the vehicle.

    Step 3: Search for the vehicle you want. Online is the easiest since almost all dealers, new and used, list their cars and the MSRP of said car. Don’t be afraid to travel. You have more leverage buying a car that’s on the lot over having it shipped from another dealer. For new vehicles, you can test drive almost any of that vehicle type without having to test drive the actual vehicle you are going to buy.

    Step 4: Research what people are paying for the car you chose. Edmunds is among the best resources. (not just the model car, but the EXACT car, with the exact colors and options you are going to buy) Most of the time you can get the invoice price plus a couple hundred.

    Step 5: Use this formula…

    Value of trade – amount owed on trade = Trade Amount
    Value of new car (usually invoice + 1%) = Car Amount
    (Car Amount – Trade Amount) x regional sales tax = Car Price

    Add $200 to $500 to the car price for incentive.

    Step 6: Put all of your trade info and the Car Price on a print-out and tell the Salesperson: “This is my trade info, the car I want, and this is the price I want OUT-THE-DOOR, not a penny more. Yes or no is all I need.”

    This process should take weeks (before making the offer). I usually spend more than a month researching and contemplating.

    I buy a new vehicle every few years (just bought a beautiful 2012 Corvette), and I have never heard NO.

    BTW, who in their right mind spend tens of thousands of dollars and does not do research first?

    • hammond egger says:

      You are making things waaaaay too complicated. Go through the internet department of several dealerships. Tell them you will purchase whatever vehicle for invoice. Done. If they won’t sell to you at invoice, the next one will. They will still make X amount of dollars in holdback. Internet departments at dealerships work on volume not gross. Competition is huge among area dealers as well. I’ve seen vehicles sold at a loss just to keep another area dealer of the same brand from getting the sale. You can also throw in that you will give them an outstanding survey for selling to you at invoice as well.

  19. Rick Sphinx says:

    Not one vehicle I would be interested in. Maybe when the new Chevrolet SS comes out later on (Pontiac G8 based, on Australia Commodore platform.), main question is, do any of their current cars use the same transmission as used in 2005 Buicks, Chevrolets, Pontiacs? If they do, RUN! I put in 3 tranmissions on the Pontiac Grand Prix GXP(V8) at 55K miles, and 1 in the Buick LeSabre at 80K miles. I will never buy another GM car that have these transmissions.

  20. Nobby says:

    No haggle = firm-fixed price. Works fine for the seller setting the price. Not so much for the buyer sometimes.

  21. jeffbone says:

    I saw one of the Chevy ads touting the new pricing policy last night. “Total Confidence Pricing” provided an $800 discount off of MSRP on a $23k Equinox. Wow, a whole 3.5% off of MSRP — that’ll really bring me in to the showroom. I think I’ll just use my credit union’s Zag-based buying service, but thanks for the effort, Chevy!

  22. Remarkable Melba Kramer says:

    My family owned a Chevy-Olds franchise for 33-years. Oldsmobile had a similar program to this in the early 90’s and it didn’t work at all.

    Oldsmobile was typically an older persons brand and when you told them that the sticker is what they paid, they looked at you like you had lobsters coming out of your ears. That generation had grown up “haggling” on the price.

    Also, dealers are their own worst enemies because even when you had the “no haggle price” with VERY LITTLE markup there was always some dealer down the road that would discount the price to make a sale.

    So in the end, even though it was a no haggle price, it was still negotiable.

  23. Jimmy37 says:

    I will never buy a car from this thieving lying company.

    First, they lie to us by telling us that they paid back all their TARP money early. They don’t tell us that they borrowed the money from Uncle Sam to do that, since no one else would front them the money. So they literally borrowed from Peter’s wife to pay Peter.

    Now they tell us they are recovering. Uhuh. They are losing money on their Volt big-time. Their stock has dropped and the taxpayer is still holding the bag.They are making money with accounting tricks, not cold, hard cash.