In reference to your Feb. 13 article about Isuzu ("Is Isuzu bailing?"), I would like to set some of the record straight. You gave the opinions of two apparently disgruntled ex-employees -- one who was fired and the other who left because "he felt he wasn't being honest with the dealers."
I am a zone sales manager for California. I work directly for (Doug) Guerriere (head of the Western sales region). Scott Lasher, the dealer council chairman, is one of my dealers. I remember things quite differently.
I would like to address some of the key issues in your article.
- At no time were we instructed to ignore dealers. We were told to focus on dealers with bigger volume (normal in the industry) and contact some of the smaller dealers by phone. We have huge geographical territories, necessitating that approach.
- The co-op program you discussed is a thing of the past and does not represent the current co-op program.
- There is no "squeeze play out there to force the dealers out" as (dealer Jim) M'Lady alleges. Yes, we discuss business plans with dealers. We give dealers the option of voluntarily terminating if they are not happy with the joint business plan. Yes, we discuss performance goals as all manufacturers do.
- As to (former field rep Dave) Seaver's contention that "they're starving the (dealers) out" and have "no intention of bringing in new product," how would an ex-employee know the company's current position?
- As to (former sales field rep Craig) Haglin's assertions: There was no "hit list." I never felt I couldn't tell the truth as I knew it.
- At no time did Isuzu indicate that (a rebadged Tahoe or Equinox) would be forthcoming.
- On the issue of a company bending its rules to favor a dealer, the real issue is having flexibility in its guidelines in order to help a dealer. There is a big difference.