General Motors has announced that vehicles sold too quickly after their initial sale will have their warranties stripped ahead of multiple hotly anticipated product releases.
According to FOX Business, a letter sent from GM North America President Steve Carlisle to dealers outlines that bumper-to-bumper, powertrain/EV propulsion system, sheet metal, tire, and accessory warranties would be removed from vehicles that are resold too quickly after the initial sale. Only the Hummer EV battery warranty will be allowed to transfer to the new owner after a quick re-sale.
The message from Carlisle states:
“When vehicles are quickly resold, particularly by unauthorized dealers or other resellers that do not adhere to GM’s standards, the customer experience suffers and GM’s brands are damaged.”
The report also stated that dealers who take part in this practice will be restricted from placing orders or reservations on some “high demand” models in the future.
In the continued battle of many automakers to limit price gouging by dealers and private resellers alike, legacy brands have very few options. Because they cannot control the sale price of vehicles from any of the parties selling their cars, they have found new and creative ways to limit the activity. Ford has stated that it will restrict dealer allocations of new vehicles, particularly their new F-150 Lightning, if they engage in extreme price hikes or fraudulent customer order practices. And now, GM is initiating similarly aggressive measures to limit poor practices.
This announcement comes ahead of many key product launches for multiple GM brands. The Silverado EV will start deliveries next year, the Equinox EV and Blazer EV are not far behind. Even later this year, the new Corvette Z06 will start deliveries, and so will the Cadillac Escalade-V. Due to high demand and supply constraints that have rattled the industry for the past year, each of these vehicles could easily be targeted by dealers and private resellers to make a quick buck.
It is unclear at this time if vehicles that have already been flipped, such as many Hummer EVs, will have their warranties stripped as well or how dealers, re-sellers, and the market generally will respond to the change.
This announcement poses a serious question for brands and owners: Do owners of vehicles have the right to sell the vehicle they own whenever they please? Perhaps more importantly, how much does it matter to brands if their vehicles get flipped? Why should they care? According to the Carlisle message, GM believes the practice damages their brands. This may be possible as consumers see vehicles as out of their price range and dealers as untrustworthy when they are presented with these price hikes, preventing valuable sales of GM products.
Manufacturers will likely face this and many more questions in the coming months as in-demand EVs continue to be flipped and sold for exorbitant amounts.
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