TO THE EDITOR:
Cadillac sales are down, and Fiat Chrysler sales have declined since September in the U.S. Cadillac offered to buy out 400 of its smallest-volume dealerships. Now, FCA wants to add 400 dealerships ("FCA adding as many as 400 U.S. dealerships, sources say," autonews.com, Jan. 27). Which manufacturer is correct?
But shouldn't Cadillac and FCA be looking at themselves and not to the dealers to solve their problems?
As for dealership profitability, the dealers have their own problems -- lower profits, finding good employees, the high cost of building and land, and inventory.
And I don't believe FCA's sales have declined simply because customers cannot find a location to make a purchase or get a vehicle serviced. There are about18,000 dealerships in the U.S., and everyone has a computer to research their needs. The problem is not the distance between dealerships. Customers will drive a few more miles to make a purchase or to get their vehicle serviced.
Rather, manufacturers should have a better idea of what customers want, what they are willing to pay, how long the warranty should be and what it should cover. Let's give the customers what they want and need, not what we want and need.
JAMES E. RUSSELL III
Jim Russell Group
The author has worked in dealerships for more than 30 years.