Rejected Chevy dealer laments loss of loyal customers

Donna Harris covers automotive retailing for Automotive News.
Herb Adcox, one of the dealers General Motors phased out last year, was a Chevrolet dealer in Chattanooga, Tenn., for more than 50 years. So you’ve got to figure the shift to a strictly used-car operation would be difficult.

Rick Watts, who sells cars for Adcox, tells me loyal customers seem to be taking it especially hard. They visit in person or call, some contact the store through e-mail -- all expecting business as usual.

“Many of the service customers showing up for warranty work are furious,” Watts says. “They don’t want to drive another 10 miles for service work. They purchased their vehicle from the dealer closest to their home and they do not like to be inconvenienced.”

Meanwhile, he notes the large Toyota dealership nearby is reaping benefits from the closure. “I have watched many of my former Silverado customers take delivery on new Tundras,” says Watts.

I’m sure some of Adcox’s former Chevrolet customers are turning to the other Chevy stores in the area for sales and service. But Watts just has to wonder how much business Chevrolet lost from closing what obviously became a community fixture.

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