Funny, I thought that people went to Chandler to go to the Bondurant school. Turns out there is another attraction, one that we somehow missed. And (this time) we’re not talking about that secret test track on N. Murphy Road or some of the others in the area.
Nope, it’s Crazy Tracy Tinque and his AutoMart Superstore. Too bad he just lost his lease and is at least temporaily out of business.
For posterity sake, we’ll include some of his commercials here, starting with the best:
Ignorant, paronoid, and delusional. The people at this car dealer are in a tiny little closed off world of their own making. We could say that we have never heard anything so stupid, but unfortunately it fits right in with the parent who was found guilty in Wisconsin this week of praying for his childs healing instead of taking her to the hospital. When she was already so sick she couldn’t walk, talk, or eat.
What is the matter with some people in this country? It looks like all the progress that we’ve made in this country in the last 60 years has all been set aside.
Original source here: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2009/07/17/am.muller.truck.ak47.cnn
Good article in BusinessWeek Online about the decline of car salesmen. And about how there are too many car dealers. This isn’t just about numbers – it takes a certain volume of cars being moved to be able to keep prices low enough to compete against other dealers of the same brands, as well as to pay the bills for attracting & training good service techs.
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Form MSNBC and Forbes – things you should never – under any circumstances – say to a dealer when buying a car.
Like the author, I loathe the car-buying process. Not because I don’t want to get conned (although I’km sure I have been), but because the entire process is designed to con you. I’d much rather orde rit thru the web – but, no, the car dealers have ensured state laws don’t allow that.
The Truth About Cars has a great posting about GM dealers issues… which are really the same issues nearly everybody faces. Except customers of certain premium-brand Japanese-brand dealers.
But let’s talk about the rest of us: the “dealer experience” is probably the single worse experience for the American consumer today. It’s not about choosing product – it is about “loudly dressed” salesmen (as TTAC puts it) doing their darnedest to rip you off. The usual tricks like taking your keys and repeatedly going back to the Manager are just the beginning – contracts that don’t clearly and simply state what you are getting for your trade, how much you are paying for your car, and what extras are included (seat fabric protector on leather seats, paint protection, etc) are just the beginning. Don’t even mention the difference between advertised price, dealer kickbacks, bank kickbacks, getting the loan from your choice of bank, and the procedure to pickup the car (it’s either an hour getting everything explained to you, or mere minutes without any explanation – just the extremes).
Assuming you actually buy the car, you’ll be facing a lifetime of abuse at the hands of the service department. Such as trying for the 3rd or 4th time to get Ford to replace leather that has prematurely (after just a few months) wrinkled, watching the service staff take your car to McDonalds, getting the car back ater a car wash from the old clunker wash machine out back, or having the oil change monkey take your nice clean performance car for a “test drive” at max RPM.
But that’s not the half of it… you might say: “why don’t we just order from the internet – that would all but eliminate the salesman.” WRONG! They’d find a way… except they don’t have to. State laws cover the dealers and prohibit car buying from the internet. Laws were put in place a very long time ago to protect dealers… actually to limit competition. Dealers are a powerful force in state politics… and have powerful lobbyists to back them up (just take a look at Red McCombs here in Texas, who was recently caught playing influence-politics). And laws are in place to stricltly limit how many car dealerships the manufacturers can own outright. And of course laws are in place describing the legal relationship between manufacturers and sellers… and that’s a good thing unless it also limits the rights of consumers.
Now my long diatribe wouldn’t be fair without a word from the wise: since we’re stuck with them, you have to develop the skills necessary to know how to manage them. You can’t take a confrontational approach when they tell you what is wrong with your car. You have to know something about cars to own one… it’s not a mere ‘fridge”that you’ve just bought. It is a complicated machine.
But back to the original posting: probably the best thing to do with all the “pointless” brands in GM would be to combine their best products into a single dealership. Perhaps the Buick 4-dr (the with the name-change in Canada) would be offered, with one of the GMC trucks, and a plastic-clad Pontiac. That might make sense for GM. But, it won’t to the dealers… they will fight to the bitter end (or large payola) for their livelihoods. This is another reason why GM is doomed… the mistakes and abuses of the past have locked GM into the death watch.
Way back when….
I was shopping for my first brand new car… about this time of the year in 1978. I really didn’t like the Mustang II, but a dealer talked me into coming to test drive one: a V-8 4-speed manual “Mach 1″. It was solid (for it’s time) and wasn’t too bad (for it’s time).
But it just didn’t feel right… too much was wrong. So I put off the dealer and went home. When I arrived, I found that a brand new issue of Car & Driver had been delivered - featuring a spy picture of then upcoming all-new ’79 model. One look and it was very clear that I had almost made a huge mistake!
That killed off any consideration I might have had left for ye olde Mustang II. My ’79 Cobra (soon thereafter replaced by a ’79 Indy 500 Pace Car) was a good car for it’s time, a far more serious car and the Mustang II, and one with far more potential. Especially as an auto-crosser – and that was also the start of my autocross years.