» Cars & Transport » Complaint / Review: General Motors Canada - Is GM Misleading Customers?. #975536

Complaint / Review
General Motors Canada
Is GM Misleading Customers?

I am extremely frustrated and feel mislead by GM Canada.

All manufacturers provide websites these days to 'build and price' any vehicle which interests you.

Approximations are provided including lease or finance payments based on any current offers/programs.

Most of them encourage you to use the Canadian Black Book 'trade - in estimator' to actively seek a value range for your car. I suppose they do this to take some of the anxiety away from potential customers and provide a 'sense' of what your vehicle may fetch against the new one.

Based on my experience in the past month, I believe many auto manufacturers are misleading or providing false hope to consumers when providing the CBB service. Why? There is a tremendous disconnect between what your car is estimated to be worth, and what they really offer you.

Some may respond with the obvious; it is an approximation tool. Heck, even Toyota Canada

Themselves say:

Toyota is pleased to present you with an estimated trade-in value of your vehicle based on figures provided by an independent third party, Canadian Black Book. These Canadian Black Book figures available through are for reference purposes only. The actual cash value of your vehicle can only be determined through an appraisal at a participating Toyota dealership. It may be less, the same, or more than the figures presented by Canadian Black Book depending on the condition of the vehicle.

I get it. But that doesn't make it right, fair, or even a geniune attempt to 'inform' consumers. It is, in my opinion, fallacious and disingenous. I say this because I have not found a dealer (who uses CBB for marketing), that will even come close to the stated values offered on my particular car.

GM canada starts this process online by saying: Looking for the trade-in value of your current vehicle?

Thinking of upgrading to a new vehicle? Want to understand what your current vehicle is worth? Click on the "Get Appraisal" button below to request an appraisal. Tell us about the vehicle you'd like to trade in, and provide your contact information so a dealer near you can respond to your request.interested in purchasing or leasing a new vehicle? Let us know so the dealer can send you information on that vehicle too.

To get an accurate appraisal of your vehicle's value, you'll need to visit your local dealer for a professional vehicle evaluation. There
are a number of things they consider when determining what your vehicle is worth such as the odometer reading, vehicle options, and the vehicle's overall condition. Help get the maximum value for your trade-in with these few simple tips.

So lets look at this example: I recently used the CBB tool to get my car's range. It is Low $15,849 to High $18,204 less reconditioning. Some figures quote the 'average' reconditioning costs in Canada being around $1800. With certainty I go into a GM dealership with a recent inspection (certification) - good tires, clean carproof, and a car thats in generally good condition overall with 76,000 kilometers.

Now I'm not one of these people who believe, against all evidence to the contrary, that my car is worth 'Top' dollar. Its well look after and maintained yes. Yet, it has typical scuffs or odd surface scratch that you expect from a 5 year old car. With a good detailing and a new inpsection the car should be good to go.

The number they offered? $12k

To be fair, I was trading against a 2012 model thats in 'clearout'mode so it was offering a factory authorized rebate. They did at least show the "real" price of the new car before my trade price was calculated. However, that doesn't change the reality they offered me a trade price 25% lower than the lowest black book value.

(By the way, my car on VMR Canada priced wholesale at $19450-$22250 - Autotrader is averaging it retail around $22k)

There was a time that if you walked in and looked for a 'Red Book' number - they would give you a spiel about 'Black Book' and that was more 'reflective of used prices'. Now, its not even close to that. One sales-manager even quipped 'Black Book is out to lunch'. Another one said 'Black Book is what you expect to get at retail, not wholesale'.


How about this:

Whereas other value books or value Web sites may break down value into WHOLESALE and RETAIL numbers or TRADE-IN, PRIVATE PARTY and RETAIL, Black Book truly specializes in WHOLESALE VALUE, determining the value of used cars within categories of EXTRA CLEAN, CLEAN, AVERAGE or ROUGH.

Although the others also issue editions for special interest/classic/rare cars, the Black Book's Cars of Particular Interest (CPI) value guide contains over 14,000 vehicles, dating from 1946 to 2007.

Cathy Ward, CEO of Canadian Black Book, says "with vehicle pricing information now more transparent, dealers will need to focus more on building relationships with customers."

We were very concerned about how the car dealer would react, says Ward.initially, there were a few that werent very happy because they thought CBB were providing wholesale values to the public. When they realized it wasnt, dealers understood that what they were doing was helping their business.

"You either work with the consumer and have transparency or they will find it elsewhere, she says. We are the best source for that. The banks use our data for lending which gives the consumer some confidence in the number.

They go on to say that 400,000 visitors a month to the CBB site is not the US, I imagine that number is much higher.

Even the Used Car Dealers Association says this:

The Canadian Black Book has been a trusted source for used car values for over 50 years and is this countrys go-to provider of present and future vehicle values distributed in various formats to dealers, insurance companies and financial institutionsas well as consumers like you on its website. These values can reflect the price that dealerships are paying for used cars usually through auctions or from other dealerships. The condition of the used vehicle and total kilometers will determine its value. (They take into consideration such items as interior and exterior appearance, mechanical condition and tires when determining prices.)

So it begs the question; if theres such a disconnect between what they say - and what they do - what do you call it? Is it a good practice to offer consumers? Despite the small print legal policies of the automakers sites - will this go unchallenged?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not crapping on CBB, Gold book, Red book, Manheim, VMR, etc. I'm crapping on the manufacturers who publically use these guides (specifically my recent GM dealer Visit) and give us a completely different impression from reality.

GM - I feel mislead and let down. My expectations of doing business with you is tarnished.

Offender: General Motors Canada

Country: USA   State: Ontario   City: Oshawa
Address: 1908 Colonel Sam Drive
Phone: 18002633777

Category: Cars & Transport


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