TO THE EDITOR:
Dave Power was a giant of the automotive industry. With all the accolades he's receiving now, there was a lot more to him than the obvious ("J.D. Power III, founder of influential car quality survey, dies at 89," autonews.com, Jan. 24).
I had the good fortune to consult with Dave in the mid-'90s as he examined the financial future of J.D. Power and Associates.
Unsurprisingly, Dave loved his stealth Impala SS, a V-8 rocket ship of a car that to the naked eye looked like a plain old Chevy. That was just like him — behind that humble persona was a powerful drive and soaring intelligence.
Despite the criticism from some quarters, Dave was totally unbiased. He invented the market research process of polling consumer opinions prior to selling the results to his clients. That took guts since his investment in the process had to be made prior to revenue being assured. Before that, research was done only after a client was signed up.
Dave was an iconoclast ahead of his time. In the face of vociferous manufacturer resistance, he advanced the idea of bundling dealerships of different makes in one location. As revolutionary as that might have been 30 years ago, dealers and consumers have embraced that idea today.
It's a sad day. Those who knew Dave I'm sure will have their own fond memories. I feel lucky to have spent a few moments in time with one of the industry's giants.
SHELDON SANDLER, CEO, Bel Air Partners, Hopewell, N.J. Bel Air Partners is a dealership buy-sell advisory firm.