To the Editor:
Keith Crain's May 16 column hit on one of the key missing ingredients for factory-dealer relations.
Lee Iacocca insisted that those hired under the Graduate Trainee Program at Ford in the 1970s attend both a service and technical education program and retail selling courses on cars and light trucks.
I did, and Iacocca even arranged for some of us to spend time at retail on the floor while still employed by Ford Division.
When we graduates hit the field sale offices and started calling on dealers, we received a better reception than the traditional field guys who had no experience on the floor. We could relate properly.
Crain should expand the column to press factory executives to the point of cross-training for their people and dealership employees.
We all agree the dealer sales channel will remain, so an investment in understanding mutual objectives will help yield greater penetration.
I enjoy Keith Crain's perspective each week: I have been a loyal reader for more than 35 years since Iacocca also insisted we stay current through Automotive News.