Not too long ago I wrote a short article about GM’s new pricing strategy “Pay What Our Employees Pay?”. The comments so far are 2 to 1 that it’s a bad idea; just a short-term way to crank up sales but it will hurt them in the long run.
At first I agreed with this.
But then I stepped back and looked at all the new models (Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky, Chevrolet Cobalt, Pontiac G6, to name a few) they have recently brought out (or are planning to) and it got me thinking. Maybe GM is up to something more clever than merely a mid-summer sales blast.
Maybe this was more about marketing than sales. Maybe this was just a great way to get a lot of people looking at GM.
Of course they sold plenty of cars due to this promotion. Last I heard they boosted June sales by 41% over 2004. Based on this alone I think we can conclude they got a lot of people looking their way. Add all the publicity they received and their paid ad campaigns and you know their buzz meter went off the deep end.
Was this sale more about marketing and getting people to notice GM? In this case it was a brilliant publicity move that should gain them long-term benefits. Is GM really that clever?
Or was it more about selling a lot of cars in June? In which case it was probably a short-sighted move that will hurt future sales because people will wait for the next bigger and better deal.
What do you think?