DOT 'politics' killed title bill
I am writing about your Nov. 2 editorial on the National Automobile Dealers Association's handling of the title branding bill.
I was chairman of the NADA Government Relations Committee when we decided to introduce the legislation, and I told the committee that it would be a 'piece of cake' because it was like motherhood. Who would oppose it except the rebuilders and maybe some insurance companies?
I knew the bill was sorely needed, and really would be a nonpartisan consumer bill. That was three years ago.
What I did not know was that you can lose a bill when it passes the House by a majority of a lot more than two-thirds and is in line to be passed by the Senate with 57 senators co-sponsoring it (51 is a majority in the Senate).
I didn't know about all the agendas in the political process. I didn't know the Transportation Department would attempt to use a bill designed for the public good to try to pry more money for its causes out of the Senate and ultimately kill the bill for no apparent reason.
If you haven't been there and done something like this, I suggest you hold your criticism. Instead, assign a writer to get the full story. You will find that this lobbying effort involved thousands of dealers and every state association executive.
I think dealers deserve to know what really happened to the title branding bill.
A.L. EAST III
Consultant bashes GM order system
General Motors dealers, beware! The new Vehicle Order Management System is here. GM will force you to commit to vehicles up front, and GM will dictate later how the vehicles will be equipped.
In the past, if a Pontiac dealership did not want any four-cylinder Grand Ams, it simply did not order any. Now the dealerships must order Grand Ams, and can be forced to take four-cylinder models. That has happened to one of my dealers.
If a Chevrolet dealer wants short-bed Crew Cabs, he must order Crew Cabs and take his chances that they will be short-beds, not long-beds. Will he be able to change long-beds to short-beds? Maybe, but either way he will get the trucks.
For years, GM has talked about being customer-driven. Making dealers take vehicles with equipment they will have a hard time selling sure sounds a lot more production-driven than market-driven to me.
Under the Vehicle Order Management System, a dealer can make only the changes that GM will allow. One of my dealers sold a 3500 heavy-duty pickup, but was unable to make changes to meet the customer's specs. The Dealer Business Center said the requested options were not available. But the dealer had no choice; he had to take the unit anyway.
As I said: GM dealers, beware!
The writer is an automotive marketing consultant.