Laws protect unbelted drivers
A letter about airbags and seat belts in your May 19 issue claimed that 'insurance companies don't have the nerve to tell policy holders that they will not pay claims of unbelted drivers.'
The fact is, most states impose restrictions on the ability of insurers to reduce compensation for failure to use a seat belt.
Only a limited number of states allow evidence of belt use to be used to reduce compensation, and the reductions permitted are minimal.
for Highway Safety
Republic attorney defends position
This letter is in response to your April 29 editorial, which asserted that Toyota is right to resist the purchase of Toyota and Lexus dealerships by Wayne Huizenga's Republic Industries.
Yes, Republic should be held to the same standard by which every other prospective franchisee is judged, but not to a higher standard. When was the last time you saw a manufacturer or distributor turn down an applicant who was a well-capitalized, well-regarded businessman proposing to buy a dealership and enter into a long-term employment contract with competent management?
Assertions that Republic may acquire enough dealerships of any line to control the sales of 20 percent or more of that line are absolutely unfounded. Republic has agreed not to acquire dealerships in contiguous markets and accepted other limitations that will preclude it from dominating any single market by means of the number of dealerships it owns.
No dealership owned by Republic will revert to a garage or parking lot in the unlikely event it becomes unprofitable. Republic is acquiring dealerships with stock, not the debt with which most dealerships are acquired and the reason for which many fail. If the Republic dealerships do not operate profitably, the shareholders will simply demand that they be sold, and they will be marketable.
The real question in the mind of almost everyone involved in the automotive industry is whether Huizenga can make successful dealership operations even more so.
If he has figured out how to do that, it may be another example of why he is a multimillionaire and most of the rest of us are still toiling to pay the mortgage.
In any event, we should welcome his entry. He will either show us a better way to do business or prove that we were right all along.
Then there is the real reason for the resistance of some manufacturers and distributors to the idea of public ownership. They want to maintain the maximum possible amount of control over their franchisees. They fear having to deal with a franchisee big enough to negotiate as an equal. Gone would be the impositions on dealers so familiar in the motor-vehicle industry. Every dealer, and the public generally, should welcome that.
Wm. R. CROCKER
Attorney at Law
The writer represents Republic Industries in the proceeding initiated by Gulf States Toyota and Toyota Motor Sales before the Texas Motor Vehicle Board.
Every lessee gets the word
In his May 5 letter, Jerry Duffy stated, 'There never has been, nor will there ever be, a new-car salesman or F&I person who will ever mention, let alone discuss, the excess wear-and-tear provisions of a lease.'
What audacity to make such an all encompassing statement!
For his information, that provision is discussed in detail with each customer to whom I lease a vehicle.
Obviously, Mr. Duffy isn't the mind reader he thinks he is.
GERALD L. WINSTEAD
Wear and tear must be included
I felt I had to respond to Jerry Duffy's May 5 letter about excess wear and tear on leased vehicles.
I am a new-car salesperson, and I always discuss the wear-and-tear provisions of a lease. Why? Simply because the reason I lease is to increase customer loyalty and shorten my customer's trade cycle.
Glossing over excess-wear-and-tear and excess-mileage provisions would only jeopardize my chances for repeat business. Shortsightedness is certainly common in our profession, but any true professional looks two and three years down the road.
STEPHEN M. HOLTON
Village Dodge Inc.