New restrictions limit customer data.
The new GMC Hummer isn't expected to arrive in dealerships for nearly a year, and when they do all will be sold-out First Editions priced at $112,595. By 2024, less expensive versions will arrive and the automaker continues to accept those orders through a dedicated website. But unlike its predecessors, this new Hummer is a pure battery-electric. GM sees it as a symbol of the new electrification era. GM dealerships, such as Cadillac stores, must also financially commit to the necessary hardware and building upgrades. But there's another required change involved with those EV agreements.
Automotive News reports that GMC's EV agreement to dealers gives the factory greater control of the digital retailing process than ever before. For starters, GM is processing those online Hummer $100 deposits, not the dealers. The automaker's agreement also states it is allowed to take "any other reasonable, necessary steps" to fulfill reservations.
Dealerships are still listed as the merchant on the buyer's billing statement, but this new contract has another major restriction dealers do not like: a lack of customer data for anything other than one transaction. The information can be used "solely for the purposes of completing the purchase of the reserved vehicle and for no other purpose," the agreement states.
Basically, dealers are not allowed to contact these customers for future sales or service updates. "We're giving away a ton of our control to them," said one GMC dealer representative. "It's like they're saying, 'It's not your customer. It's our customer.'" Dealers also cannot respond to reservation requests with automated messages, meaning all communications must be done manually.
This is just one element of GM's previously announced haggle-free Hummer pricing and the reduction of dealership markups. GM is instead offering dealers a set margin per Hummer sold, though the customer's final price is negotiated with the dealer. GM can't eliminate markups completely, but it is enacting a policy to limit them by keeping dealers in check.
The reborn Hummer is part of the Detroit automaker's 20 EV model plan for North America by 2025. GM recently announced plans to introduce the production version of the Cadillac Lyriq earlier than originally planned along with moving up the rollout time for additional EVs. All told, $27 billion has been committed so far towards battery electrics and autonomous vehicles.