Honda is wrong in warranty tiff
I disagree with your Nov. 1 editorial in which you backed American Honda for refusing to provide warranty coverage on cars that U.S. dealers bring in from Canada.
I think Honda is wrong. When Honda (Canada or America) sells a car, it probably 'reserves' the expected future warranty expense. That's basic and proper accounting practice. If that expense is not realized in one country because the vehicle is exported to another, it would seem to be a simple matter for American Honda to bill the Canadian operation for expenses incurred.
What you seem to forget in your editorial is that the U.S. customer who buys a Canada-distributed car is the loser. Why should the customer pay for what sounds to me like a distribution problem (too many cars at Canadian dealerships)?
At Hyundai, we support our customers' warranty coverage regardless of where the car was originally imported or which dealer sold it. Why should the customer lose?
Director of Service
Hyundai Motor America
Fountain Valley, Calif.
Dealer to GM: Buy my stores
I sent this letter to Roy Roberts, General Motors group vice president of North American sales, service and marketing.
Newspaper articles about Internet used-car sales and GM buying dealerships are saddening and disgusting to me. I have been a GM dealer nearly 27 years, and I was a GM employee for 16 years.
I'm a small dealer with two stores in a small town. I've complied with your edicts of Image 2000 and Project 2000, but my future appears very uncertain.
My uncertainty stems not only from the events mentioned above, but from the 'borderline insanity' of many recent GM decisions and directions, i.e., distribution, product, advertising, etc. Your falling market penetration cannot be blamed on your dealer body.
My investment of about $8.5 million in property, tools, inventories, equipment, fixtures and other assets appears vulnerable and unprotected, given GM's current direction and apparent thinking.
In view of the foregoing facts and my proximity to Houston (34 miles east of Loop 610), I hereby offer you and General Motors Retail Holdings my two stores and all assets and property on mutually agreeable terms.
As in an unhappy marriage, there sometimes comes a time for divorce. Since GM is apparently unhappy with its dealer body and the dealer body is most unhappy with GM, a 'splitting of the sheets' is in order, based on our differences.
Please send your GMRH people at the earliest possible date. I am unable to compete against GM, and I hereby surrender.
I wish you, GMRH and George DeMontrond (head of the Internet used-car store in Houston) much success in your new ventures, and I hope that products in quality and quantity are more available to you than they have been to your existing dealer body.
As a stockholder, I hope GM can do a better job in retailing than it has done in wholesaling in recent years. If not, we're all in trouble.
Burnham Autocountry Inc.
He has had it with AutoNation
Some weeks ago I was pleased to read in Automotive News a letter from a man who complained about the coverage AutoNation receives in your publication. I no sooner put that issue down than in came another one with AutoNation on Page 1.
Not an issue goes by without another glossy article on the stellar performance and innovative genius of AutoNation.
Anyone who can read a newspaper can see that AutoNation is far from a stellar performer. It has done nothing in the used-car business that dealers haven't been doing for generations. It seems that the glitzy mega-used-car superstore is an idea that is fading as quickly as it was ignited.
Please keep Automotive News focused on the basics of the business; don't let it be a soapbox for some would-be superstar.
The writer is an automotive wholesaler.
Dodge different? You bet it is
This is in response to the Oct. 11 letter, 'Dodge Different? Well, take a look,' by William and James Bragg. They wrote that there was a 'fundamental problem with the (new Dodge advertising) campaign,' which was seemingly based on the fact that the spots didn't show any cars. They also said Dodge is not different at all because '... isn't the Caravan the same as the Plymouth Voyager and the Chrysler Town & Country? Isn't the Stratus also the Chrysler Cirrus and the Plymouth Breeze? The Intrepid the Chrysler Concorde? The Avenger, the Chrysler Sebring? The Dodge Neon, the Plymouth Neon?
I am a Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge-Jeep salesman, and those comments make me wonder if they were sick the day they taught marketing in car sales class.
I mean, platform sharing is nothing new. General Motors has mastered the art, and Ford also does it.
That 'Dodge. Different.' Tag line is not meant to separate Dodge from the DaimlerChrysler lineup. It's meant to separate Dodge from the rest of the industry. Yes, when you compare a Stratus to a Cirrus, they are very similar, but when you compare a Stratus to a Contour or a Malibu, there is a world of difference. That's the point here.
As for not having cars in these spots, it's simple. Many, many times when a corporation changes its slogan, name or tag line, it wants to put as much emphasis as possible on that change. It will put so much focus on the tag line that the product will not be shown.
That is the case here. Dodge wants consumers to think 'Different' every time they see a Dodge, but consumers can't do that if they don't know the new tag line.
Sales and Leasing Rep.
Bryden Motors (Chrysler-
A noisy successor to running lights
Re. daytime running lights:
What's next? Full-time horns?