TO THE EDITOR:
The Aug. 6 issue prompted these thoughts:
1. Keith Crain's "Keep your eyes on used cars" is like "teaching your grandmother to suck eggs." For those unfamiliar, it means giving advice about a subject of which the audience should be well-versed.
When appointing dealers some 30 years ago, in addition to appraising the candidate's finances, facilities and experience, I always insisted on knowing who the used-car sales manager would be. Furthermore, I would recommend he/she be compensated higher than the new-car sales manager because the used-car sales manager would have a far greater knowledge of all used-car values as well as mysterious selling margins vs. the relatively tight spread on new-car sales. In short, a dealer's operating expense coverage comprises service, parts and used cars — but only partially and never totally new cars.
2. "GM hires ex-Trump aide as its D.C. voice": A transparent move, methinks. The auto industry should thank General Motors CEO Mary Barra for this new senior vice president for global public policy because she will be picking up the tab for whatever he might accomplish in Washington for GM, which will obviously have to be made available to all members within the industry — free of charge.
3. "As part of PSA, Opel discovers the joy of collaboration": Under PSA's tutelage, Opel/Vauxhall has shown a first-half year's operating profit of almost $600 million vs. years of losses under GM's management. The conclusion should be obvious.
RICHARD HERDEGEN, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. The writer is a retired General Motors executive.