Guest column: An edge on gov't bids, but not on consumer prices

Cliff Findlay Auto Center offers this information regarding the story of the City Council's decision to purchase police vehicles from out-of-town dealers.

It was reported that more than $12,000 separated the low and high bids to provide the Kingman Police Department with four 2013 or newer Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs with the police package.

The difference was enough for me, the general manager/part owner of Cliff Findlay Auto Center, to investigate the wide margin between the bid from Midway Chevrolet and Findlay Auto Centers. We marked up the vehicles $100, so I could not understand the huge difference in pricing.

After further investigation with General Motors, I found out that Midway is the state-winning dealer and receives thousands more in bid assistance if the municipality piggybacks that state bid.

This makes us looks bad in the public eye, as the general public reads the article and may assume they can save thousands themselves by going to Phoenix to purchase. It's not really a fair system because the bid assistance is also based on volume, and as such it makes it almost impossible for a small-town dealer like us to compete for government bids.

But while the state-winning dealer will receive thousands more in bid assistance dollars per unit for government bids, all incentives are the same region by region when it comes to the retail customer, making it a level playing field.

I had confidence local government officials would consider us if the bid was close, and if we were that we might win the bid. And there may be a way through GM's UP process to be competitive with Midway and Courtesy (generally the state-winning fleet dealers) to compete on a few units per year. We are looking forward to the next time so we can put the UPs process into action and see if we can nab a few of those bids locally.

But for you savvy customers out there who are looking for the best price you can get on any new GM vehicle, please give us a shot. It is a level playing field there.

I guarantee you that you will not be disappointed in our pricing.

As long as we compare apples to apples and options to options, I refuse to be beat.