It has recently come to our attention that one of our competitors, Cobalt, has partnered with General Motors to offer manufacturer-endorsed template websites. At first, it seems that using one of these basic, inflexible sites is mandatory… but this is not the case. The industry has seen Chrysler, VW, Lexus, Mercedes, and others try this strategy and fail. But there is something they’re probably not telling you. Yes you have to pay the $199 to get leads down from GM, but you can use nearly any internet provider to build, manage and host your site. You don’t have to work within the limits and restrictions of the template site — and you shouldn’t. You can simply run the template site in the background and use it to feed data into your custom-built site.
What they’re not telling you about these template sites is how limiting they are. They don’t offer you flexibility you need in regards to search engine marketing/optimization, proactive marketing, branding, local promotions, multimedia and all of the other things that really make a web site sing.
So, is this now a necessary evil for GM dealerships? Probably so. Does it force your hand in regards to the way you build and run your website? Absolutely not.