Monday, March 2, 2009

Chrysler / Jeep Will Take Our Money, But Not His...

In an earlier post I wrote about a bad experience I had at a Pontiac / GMC dealership a few years ago. That dealership closed recently, no real surprise there. I ended that post with this sentence: "The American automakers can build great cars, but if no one wants to shop their 'stores' (dealerships) to buy them, they'll never succeed."

That experience was before the economy went south (actually, it was already headed that way a few years ago, most of us just didn't know it yet) and before the automakers asked for huge donations / loans from the taxpayers. Back in 2006 things were not as dire for car companies and dealerships as they are now. Even when I wrote that post in December 2008, few realized just how bad things really were. Now that we know how bad things are, no car company or dealership can afford to play any games, right? They need all business they can get. Things had to have changed, right?

Wrong.

I find this man's story incredible. Read it for yourself - the link is below - but to sum it up, this guy went to two Jeep dealerships in NY with $25,000.00 cash to spend on a new $24,000.00 Jeep AND COULDN'T BUY IT! They wouldn't take his money! In fact, one of the two dealerships he went to told him that "since the big bail out Chrysler Jeep no longer 'needs the money'" Unbelievable.

I support the government bailout of the auto industry. America needs an auto industry. But, electric Chevrolets, hybrid Fords and tiny Fiat-Chryslers will not save the industry if no one wants to go into their dealerships to buy these cars. When you're shelling out the kind of money a new car costs these days, you want a pleasant buying experience.

Chrysler needs to do the right thing here. 1) Sell this man the Jeep for the advertised price of $24,000.00 and 2) Pull the Jeep franchise from these two dealerships. Make an example of them. I would approve of Chrysler using several hundred thousand dollars of the bailout money for legal fees. It would be money well spent... Because if Chrysler doesn't change the way their dealers do business, we'll most likely lose the entire several billion dollar investment we, the taxpayers, have in them now.

Click here to read the entire story, courtesy of The Consumerist.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree that the guy shoukd get his car for $24,000.00 ---- But taking away the dealer franchises is pretty harsh. Chrysler should use some of the bail out money to retrain their dealers. Bring in some Acura and lexus people.