I've had to do this primarily as a result of the media, which has been stating that the points are closing down and referencing which stores within their areas were closing, too.
However, the good side to this -- there always will be a good side -- is that our floor traffic has increased and we've begun to sell more new in the past few days. The sad irony of the whole situation though is that we all know primarily why the traffic has gotten better.
Yes, it's partially due to my and many other dealers' efforts to "get the message out" that we will survive even without Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge. But it's also that the consumer feels that the "fire sale" has begun! Our customers have always been looking for that deal, especially when someone is in trouble. It is the customer's perception on things, and that perception is their reality.
It's almost like that wreck on the interstate that we all have seen. Everyone gasps as they ride by to see the twisted metal, but we still all slow down to a crawl, sometime creating other wrecks, because we just need to see it.
People in communities across the nation are now visiting their CJD store to assess the damage and to take advantage of that deal.
So be it.
If the consumer feels the wreck has occurred and now wants to assess the damage and see what their take will be, bring them on!
One good thing about Chrysler: The rebates are strong enough today to discount most new vehicles enough to leave buyers with the perception that we are all taking loses to sell them a vehicle ... or are we?
With a good desk man (or woman) at the helm, there is a chance the whole situation won't be as tragic as expected.