The Math Magic Behind The GM 72-Hour Sale

Illustration for article titled The Math Magic Behind The GM 72-Hour Sale

Last week, GM announced their "72-Hour Sale," which, by definition, had a set beginning and end, right? How, then, to take today's news that the 72-Hour Sale has been extended? Has General Motors managed to stretch the fabric of time itself? Sort of. This is the work of GM's marketing mavens, the minds of whom are a labyrinthine abyss of buzzwords and metal-moving manipulations. Abandon logic and join us for an inside look at the evolution of a GM sales promotion.

It's important to note that the initial 72-Hour Sale language was vaguely misleading. The promotion was supposed to run from June 24 through June 30, for a total of 168 hours. However, GM claimed that the sale took its name from the number of hours the average dealership would be open during those six days — apparently in some market other than Detroit, because Tuesday through Monday would add up to 56 business hours at most dealerships here. We guess you can buy cars 12 hours a day, 6 days a week in the rest of the country. Fair enough.

But how do 72 sort-of hours in seven days end up being 72 no-we-really-mean-it-this-time hours spanning a whopping 14 days (Tuesday the 24 through Monday the 7th)? By using the eight-hour workday! First, subtract the weekends; that's minus four days for a total of ten. But ten times eight is 80, you cry! A-ha. Don't forget the Fourth of July, friends. Subtract eight more hours, and you end up with a perfect 72-hour-long 72-Hour Sale. Which is exactly how GM intended it from the start, we're sure.


See? It's simple. So stop asking questions and get out there and BUY before they start using the French workweek to drag this thing into August.
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American car companies always have screwed with the math for marketing purposes for example:

The Ford 5.0 at 4.93 something liters

About half of the famous engine cubic inch desiginations were fudged a few one way or the other for marketing purposes.

What is the payload of a 1/2 ton truck, hasn't been 1000lbs in years, heck some of the old 4 cylinder mini trucks were called 1/2 ton models, because they included the towing capacity.

How many diffeent variations of 442 did Oldsmobile come up with to justify the name over the years? Any 442 built in the last 25 years didn't have a 4bbl, 4-speed, and dual exhaust.