Use ad dollars to build staff
Thanks for addressing the personnel recruitment and retention issues in our business.
Turnover is the No. 1 problem facing the automobile business today, especially in the front end of the store.
Most dealers wait until they lose a few salespeople before they place an ad.
It stands to reason that most people who read an ad are out of work. That's not exactly the labor pool I would want to draw from.
Most of the new salespeople I speak with came to the car business only to make a little money until something better comes along.
Smart, computer-savvy career salespeople do not grow on trees. Why don't we take some of the money used to advertise product and put it to better use to advertise a career in the auto business?
It continues to amaze me that manufacturers and dealers will spend billions to put a customer in the showroom and then spend peanuts to recruit, hire, train and motivate the person responsible for the sale.
I urge every dealer to develop a plan to attract the best, and I recommend that manufacturers develop plans to assist their dealers in that process.
Oak Lawn, Ill.
Taktiks Corp. provides phone training and tracking for dealerships.
I'll file it away with all the others
I am writing about your Feb. 14 article, 'Doom looms for traditional dealers, analyst declares.'
It is ludicrous to give that much space to an analyst who works for Goldman Sachs Investment Research.
Are you aware that Goldman Sachs is an investor in CarsDirect.com? Was your reporter aware of that when she wrote the article?
Perhaps Automotive News should have charged for the article, as it appears to be an advertisement.
I will file that article with the opinions of others who have come and gone preaching the 'demise' of the automobile dealer.
There is no doubt that the Internet is a profit center, but not to the degree that it will overwhelm the industry, making dealers 'delivery boys.'
Waikem Auto Group
Claybrook on airbags
Your Feb. 28 editorial suggests I had a 'knee-jerk' reaction in pushing for advanced airbags that protect unbelted males in 30-mph barrier crashes yet don't harm smaller occupants.
Not at all. My position comes from using available facts.
Remember that Congress specifically rejected auto manufacturers' proposals to give priority to belted occupants when designing bags because more than 60 percent of fatalities involve unbelted occupants.
Further, speeds have increased significantly in the past five years, yet manufacturers want a lower, 25-mph test speed.
They claim that the 30-mph test forces the design of dangerous airbags, causing injury to smaller occupants in high-speed crashes (remember that the 148 deaths to date from cut-rate airbags being installed by some manufacturers occurred at low speeds, under 20 mph).
Yet manufacturers have no intention of warning the owners of the 80 million vehicles on the highway that meet the existing 30-mph test that those cars are dangerous.
But they are telling the government this test is dangerous in order to get the government to issue a lesser advanced airbag standard.
If the manufacturers believe what they are telling the government, they should recall the 80 million cars and fix them.
By the way, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's crash tests contradict the manufacturers' claims.
They show that most cars depowered since 1998 pass the 30-mph test, so they shouldn't have to be repowered to meet the advanced airbag standard at 30 mph.
Public Citizen is a national public interest organization founded by Ralph Nader in 1971. Claybrook was head of NHTSA during the Carter administration.