TO THE EDITOR:
Jamie Butters' "U.S. dealers are exceptional, but they're facing big threats" (June 7) neatly summed up the existential threats to the dealer network. Here is my experience buying the Mustang Mach-E.
I was required to name a dealer when I made my reservation. You would think the dealer would reach out to keep me apprised of my car's status. Rather, the dealer was reactive to my calls and often learned about matters from me since I subscribed to online forums. The only "value-added" piece my dealer provided was changing my order (on request) from rear-wheel drive to all-wheel drive.
I spent three-plus hours taking delivery because they were charging my car to 100 percent, "which shouldn't take too long." Well, it took so long, I drove off at 90 percent. As a Ford shareholder, I got the Ford Plan, which limited charges like document fees that were north of $500 and reduced them to something like $79. It protected me from what I consider dealer gouging.
But the biggest part of my "deal" was the warranty. As a shareholder, I was entitled to the reduced price of $3,500, the finance guy said. I later saw a California dealer selling the same warranty for $750!
My response to "legislators across the country are questioning franchise laws in the spirit of spurring competition, threatening decades of work by the National Automobile Dealers Association and state associations" is this: The dealers brought this on themselves. Let the consumers decide what model they prefer.
STEVE LIPPERT, Cincinnati