It’s no secret that the general public hates car shopping, possibly even more than paying taxes or watching an entire night of Saved By the Bell reruns. Edmunds.com tapped into one of the biggest things people hate about the car shopping experience, haggling, by producing a series of hidden camera videos that portray a cashier at a grocery store trying to haggle with customers over the prices of various items.
People laughed at the videos, realizing that Edmunds understands what the average person goes through. Car dealers, on the other hand, didn’t laugh at all. Some said that the videos just add fuel to the fire when it comes to unfair stereotypes of car dealership employees. Select dealerships, like The Jeff Wyler Automotive Family in Cincinnati, canceled their subscriptions with the website, reports Automotive News.
Interestingly enough, Edmunds claims that it purposely portrayed an outlandish example of haggling as a way to show that modern car dealerships don’t behave in such ways. The point was also to show how Edmunds as a service helps set up a more transparent buying experience that benefits car shoppers and dealerships. As a result, executives from the company say they were surprised that there was a backlash from dealers.
Hopefully Edmunds learned from the experience that there are at least some dealerships that are sensitive to stereotyping.
The whole controversy comes about at the same time that Tesla was banned from selling cars directly in the state of Michigan, thanks to a bill that was backed by General Motors. Some members of the public are asking what would be so wrong with buying a vehicle directly from the automaker, cutting out the haggling and other hassles of buying a car.
Will Edmunds cave to the pressure of car dealers who are mad about the ads? At least for now, it is saying that pulling the videos is out of the question. You can see one of them below and judge for yourself if the content is offensive or if dealers need to lighten up.