Being able to place a reservation for a car you want the day it goes live can be a satisfying thing. I can only imagine the anticipation of knowing your car is being built and that it’s coming, only to have that all thrown away by a dealership. That’s what’s happening to some GMC Hummer EV reservation holders, being hit with markups when their trucks arrive at dealers.
I was able to speak to one reservation holder that this happened to, who also happened to be here in Southern California. This man (who I’ll refer to as SP to protect his identity) reserved his Edition 1 Hummer within the first few minutes of reservations going live.
Having waited for over a year, his Hummer finally arrived at Penske Buick GMC in Cerritos, California. He went in to pick up his new ride on March 17. The worst part of this is that he had no idea what he was walking into.
I was called and informed that the truck had come in. I came to the dealership, the salesperson was great. My wife and I test drove the truck. When we sat down to do the paperwork, the manager sprung the markup.
Hitting a reservation holder with the markup after the test drive is scummy as hell. I know that had to sting. It gets interesting when SP claims that the salesperson had no idea this was going to happen, though I don’t see how he couldn’t have known.
The salesperson says he was not aware that they were going to do that. The dealer never stated there would be a markup until that moment.
And they never will. That’s part of the game. Had they informed him of the markup beforehand, he wouldn’t have come down. At this point, the dealer gives SP the “take it or leave” option: pay the markup or leave the truck.
SP contacted GMC’s concierge to see if there was anything they could do, but he said they were no help. All they did was take his information and create a case.
When something like this happens, it really highlights just how flawed the reservation system is. A reservation holder cannot switch out their reservation to another dealer once the vehicle arrives. And if the original buyer doesn’t accept the markup when the vehicle is eventually delivered, it simply goes to the next reservation holder in line for that dealership.
As convoluted as that all sounds, it all comes down to one thing... and it’ll benefit the dealer in whichever way this scenario plays out:
The problem I see is that the dealer is going to keep trying to get the extra $50k out of any edition 1 reservation holder they have in line, and most likely each one will reject it, and the dealer will end up with the unit and put it on the market for $50k+ over MSRP for anyone to buy.
And sadly someone will end up paying it.
This buyer isn’t the only one that this is happening to. The forums are littered with posts of people complaining about markups. Another local buyer was hit with a $100,000 markup at South Bay Buick GMC in Torrance, California. But after the buyer mentioned GM recently telling dealers to not markup these vehicles, the dealer changed their tune but not by much:
After I tell him about GM’s guarantee and all those public posts about not allowing dealers to markup here we are…calls me back in 5 mins and goes oh it’s 50k. 100k if you don’t have a reservation and $50k if you do. These guys are a joke.
Another buyer, who posted his ordeal on Facebook, seemingly had his Hummer EV held hostage by the dealer. They never told him the markup with the manager calling him saying he still doesn’t know but he thinks its “worth $200-$300k.”
Ultimately though, it comes down to getting a signed purchase agreement by the dealer, something I pointed out to SP that he should have gotten. He agrees that that’s good advice. But he says that he thought he would be ok “because of all the press I read about GM warning dealers not to markup.”
Waiting a year for something you reserved already sucks. Not being able to get that vehicle because the dealer selfishly added a markup is even worse. It just further proves if you are one of those that are willing to reserve a vehicle, get a signed purchase agreement before the vehicle arrives at the dealer. If the dealer declines to sign it, you’ll know that’s not a place you want to do business with.