Edward Lapham is Executive Editor of Automotive News.
Dollinger, a 47-year-old second-generation car salesman, is general manager of Suski Chevrolet-Buick in Birch Run, Mich., near Flint. He calls himself Buickman because, he says, he has been the best-selling Buick salesman in America for six years. He's also something of a gadfly who has attended most GM annual meetings since 1982.
Buickman isn't shy or modest or afraid to speak his mind.
He's an outspoken critic of GM's leadership and has a Web site -- GeneralWatch.com -- that says so.
Through the magic of e-mail, Buickman has blanketed much of the civilized world with portions of The Plan, which he has been developing since 1997. He's trying to get GM off the fire-sale, deal-of-the-month roller coaster.
Buickman sends out the first 20 points of his plan with the stipulation that they must not be revealed because The Plan is so potent that he doesn't want it to fall into the competition's hands. That sounds goofy, but some of it ought to work.
Several of his 20 points are no-brainers that wouldn't cost a dime to implement. Some might even save GM a few bucks.
His ideas tend to be marketing, merchandising, selling or training techniques that have worked for him at the dealership level. He believes they can be extrapolated to work nationally for GM's brands.
So why won't GM's brass listen?
Well, some have listened, even though Buickman's testy attitude toward GM management hasn't made it easy.
Maybe The Plan won't restore five points of market share, as he says it will. But as Buickman likes to point out, at least he has a plan.